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The Snare in the Constitution: Defoe and Swift on Liberty by Zouheir Jamoussi (review)

The Snare in the Constitution: Defoe and Swift on Liberty by Zouheir Jamoussi (review) of the debate. To take one example, not only is it not helpful to call Swift ``callous'' because of his pronouncements on charity, as does Mr. Parker, but this charged-with-moral-opprobrium anachronistic judgment is also an entirely decontextualized remark: the eighteenth-century Anglican Church as a whole, not just Swift, divided the poor into two categories, the deserving and undeserving. Similarly, when Mr. Parker points to the ``problem'' of ``Swift's inherently hierarchical definition of the individual subject,'' one wonders why the Dean's position is not analyzed within the then prevalent framework of the ``great Chain of Being.'' This moralizing tendency again surfaces in the revealing argument that ``Swift's position would probably be less objectionable to a modern liberal audience if he were to argue [in favor of] unconditional aid.'' The point is not whether Swift's views are ``objectionable'' to us, but whether a proper contextualizing of them would enable us to understand why our views, especially those we assume without much thought, would be objectionable to Swift, the satirist and the priest. Nathalie Zimpfer Independent Scholar ZOUHEIR JAMOUSSI. The Snare in the Constitution: Defoe and Swift on Liberty. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2009. Pp. xi 445. $75. It is not the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats

The Snare in the Constitution: Defoe and Swift on Liberty by Zouheir Jamoussi (review)

The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats , Volume 45 (2)

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The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats
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Copyright © Roy S. Wolper, W. B. Gerard, and Derek Taylor
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2165-0624
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Abstract

of the debate. To take one example, not only is it not helpful to call Swift ``callous'' because of his pronouncements on charity, as does Mr. Parker, but this charged-with-moral-opprobrium anachronistic judgment is also an entirely decontextualized remark: the eighteenth-century Anglican Church as a whole, not just Swift, divided the poor into two categories, the deserving and undeserving. Similarly, when Mr. Parker points to the ``problem'' of ``Swift's inherently hierarchical definition of the individual subject,'' one wonders why the Dean's position is not analyzed within the then prevalent framework of the ``great Chain of Being.'' This moralizing tendency again surfaces in the revealing argument that ``Swift's position would probably be less objectionable to a modern liberal audience if he were to argue [in favor of] unconditional aid.'' The point is not whether Swift's views are ``objectionable'' to us, but whether a proper contextualizing of them would enable us to understand why our views, especially those we assume without much thought, would be objectionable to Swift, the satirist and the priest. Nathalie Zimpfer Independent Scholar ZOUHEIR JAMOUSSI. The Snare in the Constitution: Defoe and Swift on Liberty. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2009. Pp. xi 445. $75. It is not the

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The Scriblerian and the Kit-CatsThe Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats

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