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Synopsis

In this lively and original book, eighteenth-century philosophy is called to account for what it owes to the early novel. Through the figure of the romance reader, the author tells a new story of eighteenth-century reading. The impressionable mind and mutable identity of the romance reader haunt the background of eighteenth-century definitions of the self, and the seductions of fiction insist on making their appearance in philosophy. Through discussions of Locke, Behn, Shaftesbury, Hume, and Richardson, this book traces the idea of romance as, in the process of engendering resistance, it comes nonetheless to define the empiricist mind as the reading mind. 

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