Enlightenment philosopher

Volume: 2016:09

Series: Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment

Volume Editors: Ivo Cerman, Susan Reynolds, Diego Lucci

Series Collaborators: Paolo Bernardini, University of Insubria; Ivo Cerman, University of South Bohemia; Maciej Forycki, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań; Jean-Christophe Igalens, Université Paris-Sorbonne; Gérard Lahouati, CRPHLL Université de Pau; Diego Lucci, American University in Bulgaria; Susan Reynolds, British Library London; Wolfgang Rother, Universität Zürich.

Publication Date: 2016

Pages: 264

ISBN: 978-0-7294-1184-4

Price: £60


The stereotype of Casanova as a promiscuous and unscrupulous lover has been so pervasive that generations of historians have failed to take serious account of his philosophical legacy. This has recently changed, however, as the publication of the definitive edition of his memoirs and the majority of his longer treatises has heralded a surge of interest in the writer. This book constitutes an interpretive turn in Casanova studies in which the author is positioned as a highly perceptive and engaged observer of the Enlightenment.
Drawing primarily on Casanova’s large body of manuscripts and lesser-known works, the contributors reveal a philosopher whose writings covered topics ranging from sensual pleasure to suicide. Analysing Casanova’s œuvre from the perspective of moral philosophy, contributors show how several of his works – including his historical writings and satirical essays on human folly – contribute to the Enlightenment quest for a secular morality. A major feature of this book is the first English annotated translation of Federico Di Trocchio’s seminal article ‘The philosophy of an adventurer’, which paved the way for a re-evaluation of Casanova as a serious philosopher. In subsequent chapters contributors uncover the Italian context of Casanova’s anticlericalism, analyse the sources of his views on suicide and explore the philosophical dialogues contained in his recently published manuscripts. Casanova: Enlightenment philosopher marks a turning point in literary and philosophical studies of the eighteenth century, and is an indispensable resource for analysing and interpreting the work of this previously overlooked Enlightenment thinker.

List of abbreviations
List of tables
Ivo Cerman, Introduction: the philosophy of Giacomo Casanova
Part I: Casanova’s philosophy: an overview
1. Ivo Cerman, Casanova’s observations on moral philosophy
2. †Federico Di Trocchio, The philosophy of the adventurer: Giacomo Casanova beyond libertinism and Enlightenment
Part II: National contexts
3. Wolfgang Rother, Italian Enlightenment debates on religion and Church: Casanova’s philosophy and its background
4. Maciej Forycki, Casanova and his considerations on the partition of Poland
Part III: Case studies
5. Paolo L. Bernardini and Diego Lucci, Casanova on suicide
6. Jean-Christophe Igalens, Casanova: writing the dream between philosophy and autobiography
7. Gérard Lahouati, Voltaire, Casanova and the Dialogues chrétiens: an investigation
8. Ivo Cerman, ‘Je viens pour vous convertir’: Casanova’s dialogues on philosophy and religion

Voltaire Foundation

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