From Perfectibility to Perversion

Meliorism in Eighteenth-Century France

by Michael E. Winston (Author)
Monographs XII, 189 Pages


From Perfectibility to Perversion: Meliorism in Eighteenth-Century France traces the evolution of human perfectibility discourse during the second half of the eighteenth century and the early post-Revolutionary era in France. Examining key articulations of Enlightenment meliorism as it shifts between open-ended models of human perfectibility and «fixist» conceptions of the human body, this book will appeal to a range of specialists because it draws on a variety of primary sources, from Buffon and Rousseau to important medical theorists of the pre- and post-Revolutionary period, and juxtaposes seemingly disparate domains of inquiry in informative and provocative fashion.


XII, 189
ISBN (Hardcover)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2005. XII, 189 pp.

Biographical notes

Michael E. Winston (Author)

The Author: Michael E. Winston is Assistant Professor of French at the University of Oklahoma. He received his Ph.D. from Emory University with a dissertation on the representation of sexuality in French Enlightenment medicine, literature, and philosophy. His research focuses on the intersections between medicine, literature, and philosophy in Enlightenment France.


Title: From Perfectibility to Perversion