Catalogue

COVID-19: Updates on library services and operations.

Wayward contracts [electronic resource] : the crisis of political obligation in England, 1640-1674 /
Victoria Kahn.
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2004.
description
xii, 370 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
069111773X (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2004.
isbn
069111773X (acid-free paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8848665
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [285]-364) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"This is an utterly remarkable book. Kahn is an immensely gifted historian of political theory--though that conventional pigeonhole threatens to obscure much of what is distinctive about her work. Here Kahn effortlessly breaks new ground and overturns longstanding orthodoxies. Whether she is flyspecking well-worn passages in Milton or exploring obscure works by Percy Herbert, Kahn is original and perceptive. She has illuminating things to say about the texts and about the big-picture theoretical stakes, and those two enterprises fit together very nicely indeed."--Don Herzog, University of Michigan, author ofPoisoning the Minds of the Lower Orders
Flap Copy
"This is an utterly remarkable book. Kahn is an immensely gifted historian of political theory--though that conventional pigeonhole threatens to obscure much of what is distinctive about her work. Here Kahn effortlessly breaks new ground and overturns longstanding orthodoxies. Whether she is flyspecking well-worn passages in Milton or exploring obscure works by Percy Herbert, Kahn is original and perceptive. She has illuminating things to say about the texts and about the big-picture theoretical stakes, and those two enterprises fit together very nicely indeed."-- Don Herzog, University of Michigan, author of Poisoning the Minds of the Lower Orders
Flap Copy
"This is an utterly remarkable book. Kahn is an immensely gifted historian of political theory--though that conventional pigeonhole threatens to obscure much of what is distinctive about her work. Here Kahn effortlessly breaks new ground and overturns longstanding orthodoxies. Whether she is flyspecking well-worn passages in Milton or exploring obscure works by Percy Herbert, Kahn is original and perceptive. She has illuminating things to say about the texts and about the big-picture theoretical stakes, and those two enterprises fit together very nicely indeed."--Don Herzog, University of Michigan, author of Poisoning the Minds of the Lower Orders
Reviews
Review Quotes
Winner of the 2006 Best Book Prize, Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies
This is an utterly remarkable book. Kahn is an immensely gifted historian of political theory--though that conventional pigeonhole threatens to obscure much of what is distinctive about her work. Here Kahn effortlessly breaks new ground and overturns longstanding orthodoxies. Whether she is flyspecking well-worn passages in Milton or exploring obscure works by Percy Herbert, Kahn is original and perceptive. She has illuminating things to say about the texts and about the big-picture theoretical stakes, and those two enterprises fit together very nicely indeed.
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This is an account of the emergence and cultural significance of contract theory in early modern England. Drawing on literary and political text the author argues that it was at the heart of a struggle over the role of language and representation in inducing voluntary subjection to political authority.
Main Description
Why did the language of contract become the dominant metaphor for the relationship between subject and sovereign in mid-seventeenth-century England? InWayward 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.
Main Description
Why did the language of contract become the dominant metaphor for the relationship between subject and sovereign in mid-seventeenth-century England? 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.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
From Virtue to Contractp. 8
The Psychology of Contractp. 13
Poetics and the Contract of Genrep. 15
The Usual Storyp. 20
The Road Aheadp. 25
An Anatomy of Contract,1590-1640p. 29
Language and the Bond of Consciencep. 31
Natural Rights Theory: The Social Contract and the Linguistic Contractp. 33
The Common Law: Magna Carta and Economic Contractp. 41
Covenant Theology: Divine Speech Acts and the Covenant of Metaphorp. 48
The Passions and Voluntary Servitudep. 57
The Slave Contractp. 60
The Law of the Heartp. 64
Free Consentp. 73
A Poetics of Contract, 1640-1674p. 81
Imaginationp. 83
Five Knights: From Promise to Contractp. 85
Shipmoney and the Imagination of Disasterp. 90
Henry Parker and the Metaphor of Contractp. 95
Falkland, Chillingworth, Digges, and the Fiction of Representationp. 104
Violencep. 112
Prophesying Revolutionp. 113
The Metaphorical Plotp. 120
Metalanguagep. 134
The Problem of Essexp. 138
Hobbe's Critique of Romancep. 141
The Contract of Mimesisp. 147
Hobbesian Fictionsp. 151
Method and Metalanguagep. 154
Hobbes's Readers or Inescapable Romancep. 166
Genderp. 171
Political Contract and the Marriage Contractp. 174
The Politics of Romancep. 177
Passion and Interestp. 180
Contract on Trialp. 185
The Sexual Contractp. 189
The Paralogism of Romancep. 192
Embodimentp. 196
Resistless Love and Hatep. 198
Paradise Lost and the Bond of Naturep. 207
Pity or Fear of Violent Deathp. 214
Sympathyp. 223
Wise Compliancep. 227
The Politics of Pityp. 234
Sympathy between Menp. 241
Critiquep. 252
Reason of Statep. 254
Samson as Exceptionp. 262
Reasoning about the Exception: Dialectic and Equivocationp. 264
Taking Exception to Pity and Fearp. 270
Political Theology and Tragedyp. 276
Conclusionp. 279
Notesp. 285
Indexp. 365
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem