Rousseaus_General_Will.pdf - Course Political Philosophy Instructor Prof Alberto Nones Student Dang Thi Huyen Trang MID-TERM PAPER Topic Rousseau\u2019s

Rousseaus_General_Will.pdf - Course Political Philosophy...

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Course : Political Philosophy Instructor: Prof. Alberto Nones Student : Dang Thi Huyen Trang MID-TERM PAPER Topic : Rousseau’s theory of the General Will, in comparison with Utilitarianism, or Virtue vs. Utility “Free as a bird, It’s the next best thing to be. Free as a bird. (The Beatles “Free as a bird”) Freedom may be said to be one of the greatest aspirations of mankind that has obsessed generations of men as to how to achieve it. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, arguably one of the greatest minds of philosophy, who was pronounced by Emmanuel Kant “Newton of the moral world” (Gundogan, 2008) offered a way out of the freedom puzzle with his theory of social contract. This paper will revisit his concept of the General Will in the social contract, in comparison with another impartial moral theory, Utilitarianism in order to see the practical merits of the theory up to today’s context. According to Rousseau, the emergence of social relations resulted in the evolution of the p rimitive “ natural man” , taking away his independence - that is, freedom - and putting him into an interdependent network with other people. Man no longer can follow just his will in order to feel free and satisfied, but have to consider others’ wills as well (Discourse on Inequality, 1755). Freedom, Rousseau argues, is not just a matter of reasoning, but of feeling, since reason does not always lead us to the truth: the universe is changing all the time: we cannot know all the ways of Nature, so our conscious reason cannot tell us about them. Our tendency to rationalize, then, only too often leads us away from the truth, since our personality has become corrupted. Naturalism or uncorrupted instinct is the sure guide to truth. And uncorrupted instinct is the well-spring of the General Will in the ideal state ”. (Gundogan 2008) Indeed, Rousseau differed from other major philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes who saw the natural state of man as “a war of all against all ” in his book Leviathan (1651), or Niccolo
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