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The French Idea of HistoryJoseph de Maistre and His Heirs, 1794-1854$
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Carolina Armenteros

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449437

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449437.001.0001

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Maistrian Epistemology and Pedagogy in Historical Perspective

Maistrian Epistemology and Pedagogy in Historical Perspective

(p.82) Chapter 2 Maistrian Epistemology and Pedagogy in Historical Perspective
The French Idea of History

Carolina Armenteros

Cornell University Press

This chapter analyzes Examen de la philosophie de Bacon (begun 1809), Maistre's major epistemological work, along with his pedagogical writings. It argues that Maistre's philosophy of knowledge was inherently historicizing and maintains—against current literature—that he was a direct empiricist, a theorist of freedom, and a sociologist of knowledge. The idea that institutions—especially religious and pedagogical institutions—are knowledge's right examiners, containers, and transmitters became foundational to Maistre's historical sociology, and especially to his religious account of European history. Equally significant was his belief that knowledge is generated by moving souls as they interact with the world, and that it is bestowed by sporadic gifts of divine grace. The chapter also shows the consonance between Maistre's epistemology and the educational pieces that he composed for the Russian government.

Keywords:   knowledge, freedom, religious institutions, pedagogical institutions, historical sociology, European history, epistemology

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