Rousseau_Jan 26

Rousseau_Jan 26 - 1 SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of...

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Unformatted text preview: 1 SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of Sociological Theory Jean-Jacques Rousseau Key Points: ¡ What are the roots (intellectual, economic, sociopolitical, cultural, etc.) of sociology? ¡ Critically discuss Rousseau’s solution to the problem of social order. 2 The roots of sociology (Take II) ¡ Enlightenment ¡ Problem of social order, action, and identity ¡ Role of science ¡ Renaissance ¡ “Dark Ages” ¡ Greeks and Romans Enlightenment and Social Theory ¡ The Idea of Society ¡ Separation between society and government ¡ What happens in society is valuable in itself ¡ “The People” as a collective with boundaries. Æ the “Nation” ¡ Science ¡ Dramatic rise in the role of reason and science in human understanding, including an understanding of ourselves ¡ Key ideas: importance of science, exercise of individual reason, tolerance for difference, equality of rights ¡ Individual rights grounded on the idea that all rational Æ equal. ¡ Printing press was catalytic in the spread of literacy and new ideas about society Brief biography of Jean-Jacques Rousseau ¡ Born in Geneva in 1712 ¡ Lived most of his life in Paris ¡ Won 1 st prize in essay contest arguing that the restoration of the sciences and arts has contributed the corruption of morals. ¡ Published The Social Contract in 1761 ¡ Died in Paris in 1778 3 The “Counter-Enlightenment” ¡ Rousseau as a child of the Enlightenment: ¢ Incorporates liberal ideals of human rights, sovereignty , radical freedom, egalitarianism and democracy ¡ Rousseau as a critic of the Enlightenment: ¢ Criticizes the E’s faith in human reason and in the association of reason with development or progress. Difference between man’s natural passions and the artificial ones engendered by society. ¢ Emphasizes the way in which the latter interfere with the construction of a morally legitimate political order and corrupt human relations. ¢ Anticipates the problems that rationality and calculated self- interest post for morality and political legitimacy. Romanticism ¡ Rousseau is also part of the Romantic movement, an 18 th century reaction to the Enlightenment. ¡ Romantics protested against the E’s view of man as an atomized individual. ¡ Man, in his desire for self-determination, was increasingly floating free of nature, feeling and intuition, community, and the sources of meaning, mystery, and awe in life. ¡ This constitutes an error, a distortion in human self- understanding. ¡ Instead, the Romantics called for man to be understood as part of a larger, organic whole, and the task of self- understanding was to recover this connectedness with both nature and community....
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2012 for the course 920 313 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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Rousseau_Jan 26 - 1 SOCIOLOGY 313 Development of...

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