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Reasons for Holding Back in Two Essays of Montaigne

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Chapter Summary

In 1576, the year when the noun impartialité is recorded as having first entered the French language, Michel de Montaigne found a new way to record his commitment to the freedom of the mind from prejudice and bias. Montaigne never calls upon impartial or impartialité, he frequently uses their radical, parti, in the Essais, and some of those uses correspond directly to the core meanings that impartiality comes to assume and to the conflicts the third of the forces that Nietzsche and Foucault claim to be at work in any emergence that impartiality both results from and intervenes in. This chapter focuses on uses of parti in this area, drawn from two related chapters of the Essais. They form a cluster of signs suggesting that a complex emergence of impartiality is visible in the Essais.

Keywords: Essais; Foucault; French language; impartialité; Michel de Montaigne; Nietzsche; parti



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