The Social Contract | Study Guide

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Course Hero. "The Social Contract Study Guide." April 27, 2018. Accessed November 14, 2018.


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The Social Contract | Chapter Summaries


Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Book 1, Chapters 1–6 Before beginning Chapter 1, Jean-Jacques Rousseau tells his reader that his project is to investigate whether or not, ... Read More
Book 1, Chapters 7–9 In the "mutual undertaking" of contracting, the members of a Sovereign serve in two different capacities. One binds th... Read More
Book 2, Chapters 1–6 The point of the social contract is the common good. Consequently, "the general will alone can direct the State accord... Read More
Book 2, Chapters 7–12 Legislators create laws, beginning with a constitution. However, good legislators are not easily found. This is becaus... Read More
Book 3, Chapters 1–6 Jean-Jacques Rousseau begins Book 3 with a comparison between an individual and the state. Free action in the individu... Read More
Book 3, Chapters 7–11 Jean-Jacques Rousseau's discussion of a monarchical form of government is followed by a caveat in Chapter 7: A king al... Read More
Book 3, Chapters 12–18 The Sovereign's power or force is nothing but "the legislative power, [so that it] acts only by means of the laws." Co... Read More
Book 4, Chapters 1–3 The general will, Jean-Jacques Rousseau claims, is indestructible. It may be subverted, silenced, or sold, but it cann... Read More
Book 4, Chapters 4–9 The first of five chapters devoted to the Roman Republic begins with an analysis of the comitia, an institution Jean-J... Read More
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