Shaftesbury (Anthony Ashley Cooper): Band I,3: Sensus Communis: An Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Humour u.a.

Edited, translated and annotated by Wolfram Benda, Wolfgang Lottes, Friedrich A. Uehlein and Erwin Wolff.
416 p., 17,2 x 24,4 cm.
ISBN 978-3-7728-0765-7
Single price:
€ 329.–


Sensus Communis: An Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Humour / Sensus Communis: Ein Versuch über die Freiheit von Witz und Laune
Instructions 1st and 2nd to the Printer and to the Engraver / Anweisungen I und II für den Drucker und den Kupferstecher
Rough Draft of 2nd Instructions
Additions, Emendations and Annotations to the first edition (1711) of the ›Characteristicks‹
Additions and Supplements to ›The Sociable Enthusiast‹ (1704) preparatory to the first edition (1709) of ›The Moralists‹

›Sensus Communis‹ can be seen as the paradigm of Shaftesbury’s technique in argumentation and composition. It focuses on the problems posed for writers by censorship and religious intolerance. Shaftesbury’s solution: ambiguity, nuancing, wit and humour. – A number of previously unpublished texts shed new light on the Earl’s revision of his own texts and his preparations for their publication: the instructions to his printer and to the engraver regarding emblematic illustrations designed for the second edition of ›Characteristicks‹; the planned emendations, additions, and related notes recorded by him in his personal copy of the 1711 text; the autograph supplements and emendations found in his copy of ›The Sociable Enthusiast‹, i.e., in the first printed version of what would later appear as ›The Moralists‹. This material (published here for the first time) shows the author at work, documenting Shaftesbury’s seemingly tireless limae labor – the painstaking, even pedantic thoroughness with which he strove continually to emend and improve. In order to illustrate further the type of redaction to which he subjected his texts, the edition also records all deletions made by the Earl, where possible restoring the original wording; in many cases this offers a good indication of what he considered unsuitable for wider circulation.

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