Item Details

"Equity and Amerindian Languages and Cultures in the Essais of Michel de Montaigne

Connolly, Shannon
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Connolly, Shannon
McKinley, Mary
McGrady, Deborah
Levine, Alison
Padron, Ricardo
In my dissertation, “Equity and Amerindian Languages and Cultures in the Essais of Michel de Montaigne,” I argue that Montaigne draws upon the judicial procedure of equity in the exercise of his skepticism. Equity was an ancient Greek and Roman judicial procedure, as well as a social and political value that characterized these classical societies. I contextualize equity within classical antiquity and point to its continued presence in medieval and early modern jurisprudence. My analysis of equity in several chapters of the Essais leads me to conclude that Montaigne relied upon this judicial technique to present Amerindian languages and cultures to his readers. Furthermore, I observe that his use of equity harmonizes with these languages and cultures themselves. I therefore maintain that equity, and the Amerindian languages and cultures that Montaigne treats through this judicial procedure, are key to his skepticism. Thus, I conclude that Montaigne used equity in conjunction with New World languages and cultures to teach his readers how to judge both themselves and Amerindians.
Date Received
University of Virginia, Department of French, PHD (Doctor of Philosophy), 2014
Published Date
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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