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Document Details :

Title: De herovering van het zelf
Subtitle: Montaigne over de vriendschap
Author(s): CAUDRON, Vincent
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 75    Issue: 4   Date: 2013   
Pages: 639-665
DOI: 10.2143/TVF.75.4.3007375

Abstract :
The famous friendship between Michel de Montaigne and Étienne de La Boétie has sparked a vivid debate in the extensive literature on Montaigne. In this paper, I propose both a reading of Montaigne’s view on friendship in general and his touching account of his relationship with La Boétie in particular, in order to consider the philosophical impact that friendship may have had on Montaigne’s project of self-discovery as developed in the Essays. I start by exploring Montaigne’s conception of friendship as a pure, harmonious and exclusive relationship. The second part builds on the first and consists in a phenomenological exploration of the inter- and intrapersonal meaning of friendship. More specifically, I show that friendship for Montaigne is a highly personal experience that consists in a pure and immediate rapport of the subject to him-self. Accordingly, I argue that the Essays are Montaigne’s imposing endeavor to recapture something of this rapport that he lost with the demise of his soul mate. The background against which I draw this conclusion is Montaigne’s omnipresent experience of mental unrest and doubt.

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