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Book Title: The Social Contract and Discourses|
The author of the book: Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 877 KB
Edition: Everyman Paperback
Date of issue: December 15th 1993
ISBN 13: 9780460873574
Read full description of the books The Social Contract and Discourses:Inspired by ancient Greek city states, Rousseau searched for a way which states of his day could be equally representative
Holding men in wretched subservience, feudalism–alongside religion–was a powerful force in the eighteenth century. Self-serving monarchic social systems, which collectively reduced common people to servitude, were now attacked by Enlightenment philosophers, of whom Rouseau was a leading light.
His masterpiece, The Social Contract, profoundly influenced the subsequent development of society and remains provocative in a modern age of continuing widespread vested interest.
This is the most comprehensive paperback edition available, with introduction, notes, index and chronology of Rousseau's life and times.
Read information about the authorJean-Jacques Rousseau remains an important figure in the history of philosophy, both because of his contributions to political philosophy and moral psychology and because of his influence on later thinkers. Rousseau's own view of philosophy and philosophers was firmly negative, seeing philosophers as the post-hoc rationalizers of self-interest, as apologists for various forms of tyranny, and as playing a role in the alienation of the modern individual from humanity's natural impulse to compassion. The concern that dominates Rousseau's work is to find a way of preserving human freedom in a world where human beings are increasingly dependent on one another for the satisfaction of their needs. This concern has two dimensions: material and psychological, of which the latter has greater importance. In the modern world, human beings come to derive their very sense of self from the opinion of others, a fact which Rousseau sees as corrosive of freedom and destructive of individual authenticity. In his mature work, he principally explores two routes to achieving and protecting freedom: the first is a political one aimed at constructing political institutions that allow for the co-existence of free and equal citizens in a community where they themselves are sovereign; the second is a project for child development and education that fosters autonomy and avoids the development of the most destructive forms of self-interest. However, though Rousseau believes the co-existence of human beings in relations of equality and freedom is possible, he is consistently and overwhelmingly pessimistic that humanity will escape from a dystopia of alienation, oppression, and unfreedom. In addition to his contributions to philosophy, Rousseau was active as a composer and a music theorist, as the pioneer of modern autobiography, as a novelist, and as a botanist. Rousseau's appreciation of the wonders of nature and his stress on the importance of feeling and emotion made him an important influence on and anticipator of the romantic movement. To a very large extent, the interests and concerns that mark his philosophical work also inform these other activities, and Rousseau's contributions in ostensibly non-philosophical fields often serve to illuminate his philosophical commitments and arguments.
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