Joseph Marie de Maistre

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Maistre, Joseph Marie de

 

Born Apr. 1, 1753, in Chambery, Savoie; died Feb. 26, 1821, in Turin. Count; French publicist, political figure, and religious philosopher.

De Maistre was educated by Jesuits; in 1774 he graduated from the University of Turin. From 1774 to 1788 he was a councillor in the Savoie senate; in 1788 he became a senator. From 1802 to 1817 he was an envoy of the Sardinian king to St. Petersburg, where he wrote his major works, namely, Dissertation on the Causative Principle of Human Institutions (1810), On the Pope (1819), and St. Petersburg Evenings (1821).

At the beginning of his career, de Maistre thought that a new religious world order could be established by means of Masonry. Subsequently, repelled by the French Revolution, de Maistre offered extremely reactionary means of establishing a religious Utopia. In his antirevolutionary treatise Considerations About France (1796), he criticized Rousseau’s ideas about the social contract and natural virtue, as well as Voltairean rationalism. De Maistre’s political views were determined by his idea of establishing a new world order based on religion. As supporters and founders of such an order, he was ready to accept not only the Bourbons or Napoleon but even a revolutionary government, insofar as it renounced anarchy (whence also his notorious apology for the executioner as the supreme enforcer of order). De Maistre considered medieval Europe of the 12th and 13th centuries to have been an ideally ordered society, and suggested that the conglomerate of monarchial states united by the uncontested spiritual authority of the pope be restored.

As a philosopher of history, de Maistre was a proponent of religious providentialism: divine providence was allegedly opposed by an evil, willful element, which, de Maistre proposed, should be tamed by severe measures. Along with L. Bonald, de Maistre served as an inspiration and ideologist for the European clerical-monarchial movement of the first half of the 19th century. In the 20th century, the most zealous promoter of de Maistre’s ideas was C. Morras. The influence of de Maistre’s polemical writings is seen in the Philosophical Letters of P. Ia. Chaadaev and the political essays of F. I. Tiutchev.

WORKS

Oeuvres complètes, vols. 1–14. Lyon, 1884–86.

REFERENCES

Istoriia filosofii, vol. 3. Moscow, 1943. Pages 379–85.
“Zhozef de Mestr v Rossii: Pis’ma.” In Literaturnoe nasledstvo, vols. 29–30. Moscow, 1937.
Paulhan, F. Joseph de Maistre et sa philosophie. Paris, 1893.
Goyau, G. La Pensée religieuse de Maistre, 2nd ed. Paris, 1921.
Rohden, P. R. Joseph de Maistre als politischer Theoretiker. Munich, 1929.
Dermenghem, E. J. de Maistre mystique. Paris, 1946.
Brunello, B. J. de Maistre: Politico e filosofo. Bologna, 1967.

V. S. MURAV’EV

References in periodicals archive ?
A partir del evento del 11 de septiembre y su recepcion filosofica, me propongo dos objetivos; por un lado, exponer la evolucion y los cambios sufridos en la filosofia de Vattimo para subrayar la diferencia radical entre la ontologia del evento y lo que la ha precedido; por otro, articular y completar conceptualmente cierto giro apocaliptico del Vattimo reciente, una de esas "consecuencias reaccionarias" a las que tanto temia en la decada de 1990, para lo cual, al contrario de lo que ha hecho el filosofo de Turin, incorporare de manera explicita la teologia politica y, mas en particular, la de Joseph de Maistre, a la ontologia del evento.
A cada uno de esos tres momentos correspondian oleadas de impugnacion ideologica desde la derecha: Edmund Burke y Joseph de Maistre contra la filosofia de los derechos del hombre; Jacob Burckhardt y Gustave Le Bon contra el sufragio universal; Charles Murray y Nathan Glazer contra el Estado de bienestar.
Lebrun's collection: Joseph de Maistre and the Legacy of Enlightenment.
By Nina L Khrushcheva/Moscow In 1811, assessing the possibility -- or, rather, the impossibility -- of Russia ever undergoing a Western-style transformation, the diplomat and counter-Enlightenment philosopher Joseph de Maistre famously wrote: "Every nation has the government it deserves.
En funcion de este concepto, el autor expone las diversas fuentes desde las cuales Rodriguez logra construir su ideario, que recoge desde los planteamientos de John Stuart Mill hasta Joseph de Maistre, de Francois Guizot a Frederic Bastiat.
Perreau-Saussine concludes that the abolition of state support for religion by the revolutionaries led the French Church to take up the legitimist ultramontanism of Joseph de Maistre.
In the third chapter, she reads Les Fleurs du mal as antithetical to the ideas of Joseph de Maistre and of Le Peintre de la vie moderne.
The French Idea of History: Joseph de Maistre and His Heirs, 1794-1854 by Carolina Armenteros (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011)
Joseph de Maistre and his European readers; from Friedrich von Gentz to Isaiah Berlin.
En identifiant le reseau de relations et l'implication d'Auclair dans certains groupes, Martel devoile une certaine parente spirituelle avec Joseph de Maistre, Leon Bloy et Rene Guenon.
Joseph de Maistre ya advertia a sus compatriotas de los peligros que corria Francia y denuncia, solemnemente, "el dogma fatal y absurdo de la soberania nacional desprovisto de toda consideracion de orden moral".