Les enjeux normatifs de la reconnaissance publique dans la France des Lumières : gloire, célébrité, mérite

Abstract : Reflections and debates on the issue of public recognition gained heightened significance in Enlightenment France. On the one hand, Enlightenment thinkers promoted glory as a way to foster progress and harmony through the collective recognition and emulation of true merit. On the other hand, the century saw the advent of a celebrity culture, which enabled the multiplication of famed individuals, especially emanating from the capital’s arts and literary circles. Instead of distinguishing individuals whose merit gave rise to unanimous admiration, as the economy of glory would demand, celebrity seemed to build more upon controversies, revelations about private lives, and the consumption of entertainment. From its inception, celebrity was perceived as a contributing factor to moral degeneracy and as a sign of cultural decadence. This dissertation examines moral, aesthetic, and biographical texts that contributed to the creation, promotion, and critique of the economies of public recognition. An analysis of these texts published over a 150-year period – from the Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes to the first third of the nineteenth century – sheds light on their arguments with regards to the type of order that they hoped to consolidate or engender. These texts also offer a unique view into the particularities of this defining moment shaped by the erosion of traditional hierarchies and the advent of individuals as autonomous moral subjects
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Marie-Ève Beausoleil. Les enjeux normatifs de la reconnaissance publique dans la France des Lumières : gloire, célébrité, mérite. Histoire, Philosophie et Sociologie des sciences. Université de Lorraine, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LORR0071⟩. ⟨tel-01919650⟩

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