Louis Sébastien Mercier, Comment fonder la morale du peuple: Traité d’éducation pour l’avènement d’une société nouvelle

Edited and translated by Geneviève Boucher and Michael J. Mulryan

Critical Texts 69

Modern Humanities Research Association

  21 August 2020

ISBN: 978-1-781889-05-3 (paperback)  •  RRP £12.99, $17.99, €14.99

ISBN: 978-1-781889-06-0 (JSTOR ebook)

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EnlightenmentFrenchPhilosophy


How might Republican France create the homme nouveau, or the ideal citizen, upon which the nascent republic placed its hopes? This is the question that Louis Sébastien Mercier (1740–1814) asks in this 1801 treatise on moral education, which has remained unedited until the present day. In this treatise, the polymath, known for his urban chronicles as well as his political engagement during the Revolution, tackles a question that pervades revolutionary discourse beginning in 1789: how can institutions be reformed in such a way that they can sow the seeds for the values of liberty, equality, and fraternity in the heart of every citizen? His moral philosophy, such as it is presented in this text, was largely inspired by German critical philosophy and Kant’s works in particular, which Mercier helped to make more widely known in France. This newly edited manuscript is thus particularly important for an understanding of both the author’s intellectual trajectory and the history of ideas in the long eighteenth century. Written at the beginning of the Consulate during Napoleon’s rise to power, this text offers scholars a retrospective look at the social and political upheaval that marked the last decades of the ancien régime and the revolutionary period. Its content reflects both Mercier’s personal experiences as a survivor of the Terror and the philosophical debates of his time.

Contents:

viii-ix
Remerciements
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x-xi
Note Sur Le Texte
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2-36
Introduction
Geneviève Boucher, Michael J. Mulryan
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38-45
1. Introduction: La Morale Du Peuple À L’aube D’une Ère Nouvelle
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46-69
2. La moralité: définition, principes et notions
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70-81
3. Moyens de faire acquérir à la jeunesse des lumières morales
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82-107
4. Principes du droit et religion morale
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108-125
5. Moyens pour développer la discipline morale
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126-135
6. Le sentiment du beau et du sublime
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136-151
7. Le rôle des arts et des fêtes dans l’éducation morale
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152-161
8. L’éducation des filles et les bienfaits d’une éducation morale
Geneviève Boucher, Michael J. Mulryan
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162-167
9. La philosophie critique allemande dans ses rapports à l’éducation morale
Geneviève Boucher, Michael J. Mulryan
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168-177
10. Moyens pour développer les lumières morales et la discipline morale chez les adultes
Geneviève Boucher, Michael J. Mulryan
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178-201
11. Moyens efficaces pour combattre les préjugés moraux et religieux
Geneviève Boucher, Michael J. Mulryan
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202-210
12. Comment écarter les tentations de l’immoralité
Geneviève Boucher, Michael J. Mulryan
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211-214
Bibliographie
Geneviève Boucher, Michael J. Mulryan
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Bibliography entry:

Edited, translated by Geneviève Boucher, and Michael J. Mulryan, Louis Sébastien Mercier, Comment fonder la morale du peuple: Traité d’éducation pour l’avènement d’une société nouvelle, Critical Texts, 69 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2020)

First footnote reference: 35 Louis Sébastien Mercier, Comment fonder la morale du peuple: Traité d’éducation pour l’avènement d’une société nouvelle, edited and translated by Geneviève Boucher and Michael J. Mulryan, Critical Texts, 69 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2020), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Edited, Boucher, and Mulryan, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Edited, translated by Geneviève Boucher, and Michael J. Mulryan. 2020. Louis Sébastien Mercier, Comment fonder la morale du peuple: Traité d’éducation pour l’avènement d’une société nouvelle, Critical Texts, 69 (Cambridge: MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Edited, Boucher, and Mulryan 2020: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Edited, Boucher, and Mulryan 2020: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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