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Unformatted text preview: Rousseau, "dreamer of democracy" democracy"
At Montmorency; typical of his contradictions Lover of nature (walking stick) Believer in personal autonomy Living on estate of aristocratic woman who supports him Does the life illuminate the work?
Geneva, son of watchmaker (1712-1778) (1712Converts to Catholicism and then back Gives his children up, exhibitionist Avid for fame, disdainful of society, eventually "paranoid" paranoid" Do tensions between democracy and totalitarianism follow from this? "Authenticity" and independence Authenticity" emotion, romanticism Unity of the Work
Staggering range: opera, novel, letter on theater, educational tract (Emile), political theory (two (Emile), Discourses, Social Contract), Confessions Contract), most of them bestsellers at the time Discourse sets problem (society takes away natural freedom and authenticity), Emile and Social Contract offer a solution (how to meld individual and society no morality w/o society), Confessions show importance of inner self (his own authenticity), even Julie (his novel) about authenticity, morality and government What makes Rousseau so radical?
Emphasis on liberty as essence of human: SC "to renounce liberty is to renounce being a man" man" p. 181 (anti-slavery) (antiDiscovery of society: everything we thought society: was natural is in fact created by society, esp inequality D pp. 17, 55, 60 His inner nature, travel literature and philosophy, not Bible, not traditions Social Contract banned in France and Geneva; on Index of forbidden books of papacy Inequality
P. 71: "it is obviously contrary to the law of nature, however it may be defined, for a child to command an old man, for an imbecile to lead a wise man, and for a handful of people to gorge themselves on superfluities while the starving multitude lacks necessities" necessities" What would a king or aristocrat say to this?? Origins of Inequality (1755)
Hypothetical history of state of nature pp. 12, 41 More like Locke than Hobbes p. 14 pity, pp. 43, 83 perfectibility (not original sin), p. 35 Ambivalent about property socialism; p. 44 Society ruins men's basic nature estranges them from men' themselves (Marx) appearances rather than authentic inner self pp. 49, 67 Dependence the worst pp. 51, 59 Where do women fit in? Rousseau the great misogynist? Or 18th c women's favorite author? Mothers and children women' matter p. 9 1 The Social Contract (1762)
Between men, not men and their ruler Only route to true morality: "while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone, and remain as free as before" p. 184 before" Rousseau the first democratic thinker? p. 185 people are sovereign Emphasis on community, not protection of individual (forced to be free) "general will" will" pp. 187, 191, 200 2 ...
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- Fall '08