The Writing on the Walls

Jon R. Snyder

in Dissimulation and the Culture of Secrecy in Early Modern Europe

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780520228191
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944442 | DOI:
The Writing on the Walls

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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Although the principles found in the discourse on dissimulation had a wide acceptance in the culture at large, still the reception of them was far from uniform since numerous challenges were made against them. In addition, dissimulation is in fact dismissed by Formey in the Encyclopedia due to the failure of any contribution to “the happiness of society in general” despite the fact that political dissimulation had an important role in “great affairs” of the state. Formey also noted that the use of secrecy was too often against those who interfered with a legitimate undertaking in the pursuit of happiness. Furthermore, in an ideal world, the use of secrecy would become rare for any project that above all does not require invisibility.

Keywords: principles; dissimulation; culture; Formey; secrecy

Chapter.  6945 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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