This classroom edition includes _On the Social Contract_, the _Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts_, the _Discourse on the Origins of Inequality_, and the Preface to _Narcissus_. Each text has been newly translated and includes a full complement of explanatory notes. The editors’ introduction offers students diverse points of entry into some of the distinctive possibilities and challenges of each of these fundamental texts, as well as an introduction to Rousseau’s life and historical situation. The volume also includes annotated (...) appendices that help students to explore the origins and influences of Rousseau’s work, including excerpts from Hobbes, Pascal, Descartes, Mandeville, Diderot, Voltaire, Madame de Staël, Benjamin Constant, Joseph de Maistre, Kant, Hegel, and Engels. (shrink)
Chapitre. VI. LA PUBLICATION DE « LA LETTRE À VOLTAIRE », 1759-1764 Les manuscrits de La Lettre à Voltaire montrent avec quelle attention au choix des mots Rousseau en a rédigé le texte. Faut-il voir là le signe d'une intention de la ...
Frederick Watkins’ 1953 edition of Rousseau’s _Political Writings_ has long been noted for being fully accurate while representing much of Rousseau’s eloquence and elegance. It contains what is widely regarded as the finest English translation of _The Social Contract_, Rousseau’s greatest political treatise. In addition, this edition offers the best available translation of the late and important _Government of Poland_ and the only published English translation of the fragment _Constitutional Project for Corsica_, which, says Watkins, provides the clearest possible demonstration (...) of the practical implications of Rousseau’s political thought. (shrink)
Jean Starobinski, one of Europe's foremost literary critics, examines the life that led Rousseau, who so passionately sought open, transparent communication with others, to accept and even foster obstacles that permitted him to withdraw into himself. First published in France in 1958, Jean-Jacques Rousseau remains Starobinski's most important achievement and, arguably, the most comprehensive book ever written on Rousseau. The text has been extensively revised for this edition and is published here along with seven essays on Rousseau (...) that appeared between 1962 and 1970. (shrink)
Ces Entretiens sont à la fois l'autobiographie intellectuelle d'un des philosophes les plus au fait de quelques-uns des grands débats contemporains et un plaidoyer pour un style de pensée modeste, rigoureux et ironique. Jacques Bouveresse appartient à cette génération des jeunes assistants qui, dans les années 1960 montèrent à l'assaut d'une Sorbonne un peu poussiéreuse et à dominante spiritualiste. La véritable nouveauté pour lui ne fut cependant ni la linguistique, ni le marxisme, ni la psychanalyse, mais la logique " (...) moderne " qu'on tenait alors pour exotique et marginale. Adversaire-né de tous les conformismes, introducteur en France des philosophes logiciens Frege, Russell, Carnap contenté de plaider pour la philosophie analytique ; il a tracé d'emblée la voie d'une certaine résistance intellectuelle, qui s'alimente autant à l'ironie viennoise d'un Kraus ou d'un Musil, qu'à une relecture très personnelle de Nietzsche. (shrink)
The work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is presented in two volumes, together forming the most comprehensive anthology of Rousseau's political writings in English. Volume II contains the later writings such as The Social Contract and a selection of Rousseau's letters on important aspects of his thought. The Social Contract has become Rousseau's most famous single work, but on publication was condemned by both the civil and the ecclesiastical authorities in France and Geneva. Rousseau fled and it is during this (...) period that he wrote some of his autobiographical works as well as political essays such as On the Government of Poland. This volume, like its predecessor, contains a comprehensive introduction, chronology and guide to further reading, and will enable students to obtain a full understanding of the writings of one of the world's greatest thinkers. (shrink)
The perfect books for the true book lover, Penguin’s Great Ideas series features twelve more groundbreaking works by some of history’s most prodigious thinkers. Each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-driven design that highlights the bookmaker’s art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped our world.
Originally published in 1941, this book contains the French text of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's 1755 treatise Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes, in which he examines the artificial origins of human social structures designed to keep one group elevated above another. The preface by F. C. Green provides the historical context for Rousseau's essay and explains its influence on the authors of the French Revolution. This book will be of value to anyone with an (...) interest in French history or political philosophy. (shrink)
The work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is presented in two volumes, together forming the most comprehensive anthology of Rousseau's political writings in English. This second volume contains the earlier writings such as the First and Second Discourses, the publication of which signalled the power and challenge of Rousseau's thinking. Rousseau's influence was wide reaching and has continued to grow since his death: major landmarks in world history, such as the American and French Revolutions, were profoundly affected by Rousseau's writing, (...) as were cultural and intellectual movements such as Romanticism and Idealism. This volume, like its successor, contains a comprehensive introduction, chronology and guide to further reading and will enable students to obtain a full understanding of the writings of one of the world's greatest thinkers. (shrink)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau est l'auteur de l'entrée "économie politique" dans l'Encyclopédie en 1755. A ce titre, il aurait pu être l'un des fondateurs de cette discipline. Pourtant, la définition qu'il en donne est à l'encontre de la pensée libérale des physiocrates, puis des classiques, et constitue une véritable "anti-économique". En hypertrophiant le rôle de l'Etat et en niant l'intérêt personnel, Rousseau est au contraire l'un des pères du socialsme. En niant la liberté humaine, il nie aussi l'existence de choix (...) éthiques. (shrink)
This book studies a central but hitherto neglected aspect of Rousseau's political thought: the concept of social order and its implications for the ideal society which he envisages. The antithesis between order and disorder is a fundamental theme in Rousseau's work, and the author takes it as the basis for this study. In contrast with a widely held interpretation of Rousseau's philosophy, Professor Viroli argues that natural and political order are by no means the same for Rousseau. He explores the (...) differences and interrelations between the different types of order which Rousseau describes, and shows how the philosopher constructed his final doctrine of the just society, which can be based only on every citizen's voluntary and knowing acceptance of the social contract and on the promotion of virtue above ambition. The author also shows the extent of Rousseau's debt to the republican tradition, and above all to Machiavelli, and revises the image of Rousseau as a disciple of the natural-law school. (shrink)
In his Discourses, Rousseau argues that inequalities of rank, wealth, and power are the inevitable result of the civilizing process. If inequality is intolerable - and Rousseau shows with unparalledled eloquence how it robs us not only of our material but also of our psychological independence - then how can we recover the peaceful self-sufficiency of life in the state of nature? We cannot return to a simpler time, but measuring the costs of progress may help us to imagine alternatives (...) to the corruption and oppressive conformity of modern society. Rousseau's sweeping account of humanity's social and political development epitomizes the innovative boldness of the Englightment, and it is one of the most provocative and influential works of the eighteenth century. This new translation includes all Rousseau's own notes, and Patrick Coleman's introduction builds on recent key scholarship, considering particularly the relationship between political and aesthetic thought. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. (shrink)
'No one can write a man's life except himself.' -/- In his Confessions Jean-Jacques Rousseau tells the story of his life, from the formative experience of his humble childhood in Geneva, through the achievement of international fame as novelist and philosopher in Paris, to his wanderings as an exile, persecuted by governments and alienated from the world of modern civilization. In trying to explain who he was and how he came to be the object of others' admiration and (...) abuse, Rousseau analyses with unique insight the relationship between an elusive but essential inner self and the variety of social identities he was led to adopt. The book vividly illustrates the mixture of moods and motives that underlie the writing of autobiography: defiance and vulnerability, self-exploration and denial, passion, puzzlement, and detachment. Above all, Confessions is Rousseau's search, through every resource of language, to convey what he despairs of putting into words: the personal quality of one's own existence. (shrink)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith are giants of eighteenth century thought. The heated controversy provoked by their competing visions of human nature and society still resonates today. Smith himself reviewed Rousseau's Discourse on Inequality, and his perceptive remarks raise an intriguing question: what would a conversation between these two great thinkers look like? In this outstanding book Charles Griswold analyses, compares and evaluates some of the key ways in which Rousseau and Smith address what could be termed "the (...) question of the self." Both thinkers discuss what we are by nature, who we have become, whether we can know ourselves or each other, how best to articulate the human condition, what it would mean to be free, and whether there is anything that can be done to remedy our deeply imperfect condition. In the course of examining their rich and contrasting views, Griswold puts Rousseau and Smith in dialogue by imagining what they might say in reply to one another. Griswold's wide-ranging exploration includes discussion of issues such as narcissism, self-falsification, sympathy, the scope of philosophy, and the relation between liberty, religion and civic order. A superb exploration of two major philosophers, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith: A Philosophical Encounter is essential reading for students and scholars of these two figures, eighteenth century philosophy, the Enlightenment, moral philosophy, the history of ideas. It will also be of interest to those in related disciplines such as political theory, economics, and religion. (shrink)
In this book, Rousseau is understood as a theorist of the common person. For Strong, Rousseau resonates with Kant, Hegel, and Marx, but he is more modern like Emerson, Nietzsche, Eittegenstein, and Heidegger. Rousseau's democratic individual is an ordinary self, paradoxically multiple and not singular. In the course of exploring this contention, Strong examines Rousseau's fear of authorship , his understanding of the human, his attempt to overcome the scandal that relativism posed for politics, and the political importance of sexuality.
Rousseau's general will is mostly interpreted as promoting social unity at the expense of plurality. Conversely, this article argues that the general will depends on, and preserves, plurality for its formation and legitimacy. The general and the particular are not fixed opposites, for Rousseau, but are interdependent and contextually defined. The Rousseauian universal anticipates Laclau's notion of universality. The absence of any natural foundations for society deprives the universal of any pre-given identity. Likewise, the Laclauian universal names the lack of (...) ultimate ground for society. To prevent either sectarianism or despotism, the universal has to be constructed politically. Rousseau's contingent general will supplements the lack of universality, as diverse groups and individuals construct common values and political objectives that unify them across divisions without suppressing their difference. Due to its originary lack, the general will remains for ever incomplete. That incompleteness conditions the questioning, ambiguity and openness to change characterizing democracy. Key Words: democracy • equality • freedom • general will • Ernesto Laclau • particular • plurality • Jean-Jacques Rousseau • sovereignty • universal. (shrink)
Abstract Modern reflection on the ideal of personal autonomy has its Western origin in the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, where autonomy, or self-legislation, involves citizens joining together to make laws for themselves that reflect their collective understanding of the common good. Four features of this conception of autonomy continue to be relevant today. First, autonomy, a type of freedom, is introduced into modern philosophy in order to make up for a perceived deficiency, or incompleteness, in merely ?negative? freedom (...) (the right to do as one pleases, unimpeded by others). Second, autonomy is taken to be not merely a complement of negative freedom but a higher, more valuable species of freedom. Third, at its origin personal autonomy is not conceived individualistically; rather, on Rousseau's account, autonomy is achievable only if citizens surrender part of their status as individuals and think of their social membership as essential, not merely accidental, to who they are. Finally, Rousseau's conception of autonomy is distinct from the contemporary ideal of autonomy defined as judging or deciding for oneself (according to one's own reason). Nevertheless, there is an important sense in which autonomy as Rousseau conceives it also requires the developed capacity for independent, self-determined judgment. (shrink)