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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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The Metapolitics of History

The Metapolitics of History

Socialism, Positivism, and Tradition, 1820–48

(p.283) Chapter 8 The Metapolitics of History
The French Idea of History

Carolina Armenteros

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the speculative philosophy of history. Studying history to read the future, the nineteenth-century social thinkers who inherited from Maistre divided history into different epochs characterized by various types of religious organization, political regimes, and epistemological paradigms. If during the Restoration, history was the language of politics, during 1814–54, the speculative philosophy of history was the metapolitics of morals, the authoritative locus for the production of good and evil, and the key to transcending politics and to abandoning the state. Not surprisingly, the speculative philosophy of history enjoyed special currency among the rejects of politics and among defenders of Christianity. This chapter argues that Maistre's heirs across the political spectrum conceived of history as a moral vehicle that could be driven to defeat politics and help religion achieve its final social form.

Keywords:   philosophy of history, politics, Christianity, religion, morals, Maistre

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