Pierre Manent's Montaigne: la vie sans loi is at once a profound reading of Michel de Montaigne's notoriously elusive Essays and an ambitious effort to reshape our understanding of the meaning of modernity. Manent argues that Montaigne brings a distinctively modern conception of life itself into being in his writing, a conception now so pervasive that its novelty is difficult for us to discern. He makes a compelling case for according Montaigne a central place in any modern attempt at self-understanding, but also shows that the modern self-conception Montaigne helped bring into being is highly questionable. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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