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Author Kahn, Victoria Ann.

Title Wayward contracts : the crisis of political obligation in England, 1640-1674 / Victoria Kahn
Published Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [2004]
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Description 1 online resource (xii, 370 pages)
Contents From virtue to contract -- The psychology of contract -- Poetics and the contract of genre -- The usual story -- The road ahead -- PART I: An anatomy of contract,1590-1640: -- CHAPTER 2. Language and the bond of conscience: -- Natural rights theory: the social contract and the linguistic contract -- The Common Law: Magna Carta and economic contract -- Covenant theology: divine speech acts and the covenant of metaphor -- CHAPTER 3. The passions and voluntary servitude: -- The slave contract -- The law of the heart -- Free consent -- PART II: A poetics of contract, 1640-1674: -- CHAPTER 4. Imagination: -- Five knights: from promise to contract -- Shipmoney and the imagination of disaster -- Henry Parker and the metaphor of contract -- Falkland, Chillingworth, Digges, and the fiction of representation -- CHAPTER 5. Violence: -- Prophesying revolution -- The metaphorical plot -- CHAPTER 6. Metalanguage: -- The problem of Essex -- Hobbe's critique of romance -- The contract of Mimesis -- Hobbesian fictions -- Method and metalanguage -- Hobbes's readers or inescapable romance -- CHAPTER 7. Gender: -- Political contract and the marriage contract -- The politics of romance -- Passion and interest -- Contract on trial -- The sexual contract -- The paralogism of romance -- CHAPTER 8. Embodiment: -- Resistless love and hate -- Paradise Lost and the bond of nature -- Pity or fear of violent death -- CHAPTER 9. Sympathy: -- Wise compliance -- The politics of pity -- Sympathy between men -- CHAPTER 10. Critique: -- Reason of state -- Samson as exception -- Reasoning about the exception: dialectic and equivocation -- Taking exception to pity and fear -- Political theology and tragedy
Summary "In Wayward Contracts, Victoria Kahn takes issue with the usual explanation for the emergence of contract theory in terms of the origins of liberalism, with its notions of autonomy, liberty, and equality before the law." "Drawing on literature as well as political theory, state trials as well as religious debates, Kahn argues that the sudden prominence of contract theory was part of the linguistic turn of early modern culture, when government was imagined in terms of the poetic power to bring new artifacts into existence. But this new power also brought in its wake a tremendous anxiety about the contingency of obligation and the instability of the passions that induce individuals to consent to a sovereign power. In this wide-ranging analysis of the cultural significance of contract theory, the lover and the slave, the tyrant and the regicide, the fool and the liar emerge as some of the central, if wayward, protagonists of the new theory of political obligation. The result is must reading for students and scholars of early modern literature and early modern political theory, as well as historians of political thought and of liberalism."--Jacket
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 285-364) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Contracts in literature.
Contracts -- Great Britain -- History -- 17th century.
English literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- History and criticism.
Political obligation -- History -- 17th century.
Politics and literature -- Great Britain -- History -- 17th century.
Social contract -- History -- 17th century.
Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1642-1660.
Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1660-1688.
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2004042850
ISBN 069111773X (acid-free paper)
140082642X (electronic bk.)
9780691117737 (acid-free paper)
9781400826421 (electronic bk.)
(acid-free paper)