Faculty Bookshelf

Isolated Cases: The Anxieties of Autonomy from Enlightenment Philosophy to Romantic Literature

  • Published Date: Cornell University Press, 2004

Nancy Yousef

Screen Shot 2018 11 21 at 10.28.58 AM da3f4

Isolated Cases addresses the emergence of autonomy in eighteenth-century philosophy and romantic literature, arguing that the ideal was beset from its beginnings by profound concerns over the possibilities and grounds of human relations and interdependence.  The book draws attention to the strain of anxieties and longings hidden within representations of the individual as self-sufficient and self-defining. Among the writers and thinkers treated at length are John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Shelley, and William Wordsworth.