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Grant number like: FA-52756-06

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Mary Martha Keys
University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN 46556-4635)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2006 – 7/31/2007

Humility and Modern Politics

This project examines modern political thought and practice through the lens of modernity's many critiques of humility. A virtue of special significance to Jews and Christians, humility came to be regarded as a debilitating passion or vice in much mainstream modern thought. After assessing the critiques of humility offered by Hume, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Tocqueville, and others, and the role of these critiques in their larger ethical and political theories, the project turns to examine key positive valuations of humility in classical, medieval, and contemporary thought. Special attention is given to the question of what political life in the 21st century stands to gain from a renewed appreciation of humility as virtue.