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The Autonomy of Pleasure"Libertines, License, and Sexual Revolution"$
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James A. Steintrager

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231151580

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231151580.001.0001

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Whose Sexual Revolution?

(p.1) Introduction
The Autonomy of Pleasure

James A. Steintrager

Columbia University Press

Introduces the literary roots and socio-political context of radical libertinism in eighteenth-century France with an emphasis on satire, philosophical skepticism, and the disenfranchisement of the aristocracy under absolutism. Puts forward the overrarching claim that such libertinism took on a systematic and autonomous form at this time, differentiating itself from moral philosophy in particular and treating any restraints on pleasure as illegitimate.

Keywords:   libertinism, system, pleasure, satire, Enlightenment, skepticism, Marquis de Sade

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