Old Masters, New Subjects: Early Modern and Poststructuralist Theories of Will

Front Cover
Stanford University Press, 1995 - 260 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
The encounter between recent post-structuralist theory and a traditional idea of the Renaissance occasions this book. Its dual purpose is, first, to analyze early modern theories of the will and subjecthood and, second, to explore their relation to poststructuralist thought. It deals with discussions of will and mastery by five masters - Petrarch, Luther, Loyola, Teresa of Avila, and Galileo - in texts that have some autobiographical component. Each writer embodies a paradigmatic early modern discourse on will: humanism, theologies of the will, and the emergent discourse of scientific rationalism. All are structured by a tension between the desire for mastery and the acknowledgment that mastery is impossible. And all share a rhetoric of authority and voluntarism that seeks to compensate for the various forms of predestination or bondage of the will experienced by these writers.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Metamorphoses of the Subject in Critical Theory
The Fortunes of Francis Petrarch
Will and Bondage in Martin Luther Ignatius
Galileo and the Book of Nature

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page iv - A limited nature in other creatures is confined within the laws written down by Us. In conformity with thy free judgment, in whose hands I have placed thee, thou art confined by no bounds; and thou wilt fix limits of nature for thyself.

About the author (1995)

Dolora A. Wojciehowski is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas, Austin.

Bibliographic information