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Savages, Romans, and DespotsThinking about Others from Montaigne to Herder$
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Robert Launay

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226575254

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226575421.001.0001

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“Others” Are Good to Think

“Others” Are Good to Think

(p.210) Twelve “Others” Are Good to Think
Savages, Romans, and Despots

Robert Launay

University of Chicago Press

This chapter synthesizes the arguments of the book, suggesting that the critique of European thought elaborated in postcolonial theory, the thesis that European representations of others is intrinsically connected to processes of domination, do not always apply to early modern Europe. Frequently, these representations figure in debates about European society itself, debates about religion, law, political order, social inequality, even sexuality. Arguments in these debates frequently employ relativism of one variety or another as a rhetorical strategy, more often than not to bolster a position that is not relativist at all. Ultimately, these arguments need to be understood in their own terms and their own contexts, rather than as precursors, for better or for worse, of contemporary thought.

Keywords:   others, Europe, postcolonial thought, relativism, thought

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