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Le Spectator à la recherche d'équilibres précaires

Authors
Journal
XVII-XVIII Bulletin de la société d études anglo-américaines des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles
0291-3798
Publisher
PERSEE Program
Publication Date
Volume
50
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3406/xvii.2000.1489
Disciplines
  • Design
  • Philosophy

Abstract

The Spectator is assumed to have voiced a moral and intellectual consensus in its time. This paper examines the essays in the light of the middle way defended by the Latitudinarians, against dogmatic positions, in a pragmatic perspective. Some contradictions remain unresolved in Mr. Spectator's speculations. The Spectator's, vision of man, still marked by an ancient notion of divine order in nature, coexists with its modern conceptions of sensibility and imagination as man's guides in the world. By considering aesthetic activity as proper to man, Mr. Spectator adumbrates a much more unstable vision of nature and man than the well-balanced rhetoric of the essays actually wishes to conjure up.

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