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Joshua Foa Dienstag in dialogue
Series: Critical Powers

This book engages in a critical encounter with the work of Stanley Cavell on cinema, focusing skeptical attention on the claims made for the contribution of cinema to the ethical character of democratic life. In much of Cavell's writing on film he seeks to show us that the protagonists of the films he terms "remarriage comedies" live a form of perfectionism that he upholds as desirable for contemporary democratic society: moral perfectionism. Films are often viewed on television, and television shows can have "filmlike" qualities. The book addresses the nature of viewing cinematic film as a mode of experience, arguing against Cavell that it is akin to dreaming rather than lived consciousness and, crucially, cannot be shared. It mirrors the celebrated dialogue between Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Jean D'Alembert on theatre. The book articulates the implications of philosophical pessimism for addressing contemporary culture in its relationship to political life. It clarifies how The Americans resembles the remarriage films and can illuminate the issues they raise. The tragedy of remarriage, would be a better instructor of a democratic community, if such a community were prepared to listen. The book suggests that dreaming, both with and without films, is not merely a pleasurable distraction but a valuable pastime for democratic citizens. Finally, it concludes with a robust response from Dienstag to his critics.

Letter to M. Cavell about cinema (a remake)
Joshua Foa Dienstag

Introduction In 1757, Jean d’Alembert wrote an entry on “Genève” (Geneva) in the seventh volume of the Encyclopédie , the great encapsulation of the Enlightenment, of which he was also one of the general editors. Among other things, the article proposed that Geneva should relax its sumptuary laws so as to permit the

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism
A reply from Saturday Night to Mr. Dienstag
Tracy B. Strong

. 1 Jean d’Alembert , Lettre de d’Alembert à M. J.-J. Rousseau sur l’article “Genève , ” from l’Encyclopédie , vol. 7. Online at: (accessed January 19, 2016): “On va, selon vous, s’isoler au

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism
Andrew Mansfield

compatible with composition in 1695. The letter was first published by Jean d’Alembert in his Histoire ...l’Académie Française in 1787, although its authenticity was doubted until 1825 when the manuscript in Fénelon’s handwriting was found by Renouard (Selected Letters of Fénelon, ed. John McEwen (London, 1964), 297). 50 Fénelon, Lettre, 546–7. Both François Bluche and Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie have stated that Fénelon exaggerated France’s suffering in the Lettre and created a deliberately bleak picture to evoke sympathy (Bluche, Louis XIV, trans. Mark Greengrass (Oxford

in Ideas of monarchical reform
Michael R. Lynn

Philosophy in Newtonian Britain, 1660–1750 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). On the idea of utility see the entry in the Encyclopédie; ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, eds. Denis Diderot and Jean d’Alembert, 5 vols., compact ed. (New York: Pergamon Press, 1985), III:558; and Jean-François Feraud, Dictionnaire critique de la langue française, 3 vols. (1787; reprint, Tübingen: M. Niemeyer, 1994), III:769. Denis Diderot, “Pensées sur l’interprétation de la nature,” in Oeuvres completes, ed. Jean Varloot (Paris: Hermann, 1975–), IX

in Popular science and public opinion in eighteenth-century France
Michael R. Lynn

article on the divining rod (baguette divinatoire), penned by Jean d’Alembert, is a case in point. D’Alembert asserted that Aymar had been, without doubt, deceitful and duplicitous. He does not, however, suggest that there was anything magical or demonic about Aymar’s ability to solve crime. As for finding water and the other, more natural, aspects of dowsing, d’Alembert did not completely dismiss them but noted that they had been called into question. The article on rabdomancie offered an extended historical look at dowsing before getting to the case of Aymar. Once

in Popular science and public opinion in eighteenth-century France
Jane Freebody

that a lack of it led to mental and physical malaise.29 In France, Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78) argued that manual labour and bodily exercise strengthened the constitution; in his book Émile (1762) he observed that men who exercised both their minds and their bodies lived longer.30 The Encyclopédie (1751–72), edited by Denis Diderot and Jean d’Alembert, highlighted the health benefits of such sports as bowling, croquet, billiards and tennis. Other articles in the Encyclopédie advocated regular exercise as a means of promoting good health

in Work, psychiatry and society, c. 1750–2015
Abstract only
Allyn Fives

’ (Shklar 1998 [1978b] , p. 96; see also Shklar 1998 [1987d] , p. 25). Shklar believes that Adams (not unlike Jean d’Alembert) is following Montesquieu's lead in assuming that all power corrupts, and the power of an intellectual elite would be no less corrupt than that of, say, a religious one: When the watchmen at the gate of the new age warned the men of letters to retreat to what is now often sneered at as the ‘ivory tower,’ they were not telling them to forget their obligations to society, but

in Judith Shklar and the liberalism of fear