The subject of this essay is the institution of slavery, observed through the figure of the eunuch slaves in Montesquieu’s Persian Letters. In the first part, I will show how Montesquieu illustrates a concept of slavery that is not based on the logic of property (i.e. the slave as an object owned by the master), but rather on the dynamics of mastery (i.e. the slave as the one who cannot be master of himself ). In the second part, I will try to follow the way in which the eunuch, who is by definition the being separated from himself, has the function of undermining the conceptual hold of slavery.
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