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Montaigne et la “vanité” des utopies

Scholar, Richard



This article examines Montaigne’s contribution to the sixteenth-century European debate about the utopia as a form of political thinking concerned with the creation of a better society. It argues that Montaigne participates in that debate, as he does in others, by retreating to the margins. It explores the form this retreat takes in book III of the Essais. The suggestion is that, by retreating to the margins of ­political debate, the author creates a textual space open to a virtual community of friends, among them the author and the reader, who have in common a mode of free and frank discussion as a truth-seeking and quarrelsome “exercise of minds”. Montaigne is thus able to conduct an unresolved quarrel with others, and with himself, as he weighs in the balance the value – and vanity – of utopias.


Scholar, R. (2016). Montaigne et la “vanité” des utopies. Revue de Synthèse, 137(3-4), 321-343.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Feb 17, 2017
Publication Date 2016-12
Deposit Date Feb 15, 2019
Journal Revue de synthèse
Print ISSN 0035-1776
Electronic ISSN 0035-1776
Publisher Lavoisier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 137
Issue 3-4
Pages 321-343
Publisher URL