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Dissimulation and the Culture of Secrecy in Early Modern Europe$
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Jon Snyder

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520228191

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520228191.001.0001

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The Writing on the Walls

The Writing on the Walls

(p.159) Chapter 5 The Writing on the Walls
Dissimulation and the Culture of Secrecy in Early Modern Europe

Jon R. Snyder

University of California Press

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

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