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by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Download The Social Contract (Great Books in Philosophy) ePub
  • ISBN 0879754443
  • ISBN13 978-0879754440
  • Language English
  • Author Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Publisher Prometheus Books (March 1, 1988)
  • Pages 137
  • Formats lrf txt rtf mobi
  • Category Different
  • Subcategory Social Sciences
  • Size ePub 1877 kb
  • Size Fb2 1476 kb
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Votes: 590

With the publication of The Social Contract in 1761, Jean-Jacques Rousseau took his place among the leading political philosophers of the Enlightenment. Like his contractarian predecessors (Thomas Hobbes and John Locke), Rousseau sought to ground his political theory in an understanding of human nature, which he believed to be basically good but corrupted by the conflicting interests within society. Here self-interest degenerated into a state of war from which humanity could only be extricated by the imposition of a contract. As a party to the compact, each individual would find his true interest served within the political expression of the community of man, or the "general will."What is the content of human nature and how does it compel mankind to come together to create a civil society? What form does this society take? What benefits does it offer its citizens, and what must each individual sacrifice to reap its rewards? How does sovereign power manifest itself, and what consequences follow for those who choose not to abide by the "general will"? Does Rousseau's political theory set forth a blueprint for democracy -- one that results in equality, universal suffrage, and popular sovereignty -- or is it a recipe for central state totalitarianism? These are just a few of the complex questions that will confront readers of The Social Contract.Whatever their intent or ultimate result, Jean-Jacques Rousseau's views on the state and man's relationship to it have culminated in one of the most powerful and compelling pieces of political philosophy ever written.

But what Jean-Jacques Rousseau means by the term, as expressed in his classic work "The Social Contract" (1762), is. .

But what Jean-Jacques Rousseau means by the term, as expressed in his classic work "The Social Contract" (1762), is much more complex and much more nuanced. Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains" - it is on this seemingly paradoxical note that Rousseau begins "The Social Contract. Indeed, there is a contrarian strain to Rousseau's work that is at once infuriating and refreshing. Rousseau takes great care in differentiating between the executive and legislative functions of government, just as carefully as he distinguishes between "the sovereign" and "the government.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (UK: /ˈruːsoʊ/, US: /ruːˈsoʊ/; French: ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer and composer

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (UK: /ˈruːsoʊ/, US: /ruːˈsoʊ/; French: ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political, economic and educational thought.

The Social Contract, originally published as On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Political Rights (French: Du contrat social; ou Principes du droit politique) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

The Social Contract, originally published as On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Political Rights (French: Du contrat social; ou Principes du droit politique) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, is a 1762 book in which Rousseau theorized about the best way to establish a political community in the face of the problems of commercial society, which he had already identified in his Discourse on Inequality (1754).

The Social Contract book. Philosophy implies thinking; and thus, indicates a certain type of thought. Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains  . Jean-Jacques Rousseau, though, all appearances to the contrary, was at heart a Golden Ager. Whatever we may think, his philosophy was not Utopian. That is exactly what this book has accomplished - combined three books that summarized a brief view of numerous philosophers’ ways of perceiving the world. Aside from all that, Social Contract theory was the heart and soul of this phenomenal manuscript.

The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, is the book in which Rousseau theorized about the best way in which to set up a political community in the face of the problems of commercial society which he had already identified in his Discourse o.

The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, is the book in which Rousseau theorized about the best way in which to set up a political community in the face of the problems of commercial society which he had already identified in his Discourse on Inequality. The Social Contract was a progressive work that helped inspire political reforms or revolutions in Europe, especially in France

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Home Rousseau, Jean-Jacques The Social Contract (Great Books in Philosophy). The Social Contract (Great Books in Philosophy). Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. ISBN 10: 0879754443, ISBN 13: 9780879754440. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Jean-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.

I read this book for a graduate class in Philosophy. To begin at the beginning, famous lines of book "The Social Contract," "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains

I read this book for a graduate class in Philosophy. Jean Jacques Rousseau born (1712-1778), in Geneva mother dies in childbirth, he was an engravers apprentice. Stayed out too late one night and locked out of the city, knew he would get in trouble for it so he takes off for France, and meets Madame De Warrens becomes his lover and she converts him to Roman Catholicism. To begin at the beginning, famous lines of book "The Social Contract," "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. The question he asks, how do we find a way to get people to live together in groups?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss-born philosopher, writer, and political theorist whose treatises and novels inspired the leaders of the French Revolution and the Romantic generation.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss-born philosopher, writer, and political theorist whose treatises and novels inspired the leaders of the French Revolution and the Romantic generation. Although he was the least academic of modern philosophers, he was also in many ways the most influential. Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote the philosophical treatises A Discourse on the Origins of Inequality (1755) and The Social Contract (1762); the novels Julie; or, The New Eloise (1761) and Émile; or, On Education (1762); and the autobiographical Confessions (1782–1789), among other works. Why is Jean-Jacques Rousseau famous?

Talk about The Social Contract (Great Books in Philosophy)


Leceri
"Social contract" is a term that is thrown about pretty widely in our society. People will talk in a casual if sometimes facile manner about the idea that people willingly give up the theoretically total freedom of a state of nature in exchange for the benefits that life in a civilized society provides. But what Jean-Jacques Rousseau means by the term, as expressed in his classic work "The Social Contract" (1762), is much more complex and much more nuanced.

"Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains" -- it is on this seemingly paradoxical note that Rousseau begins "The Social Contract." Indeed, there is a contrarian strain to Rousseau's work that is at once infuriating and refreshing. One gets the sense that Rousseau enjoyed the philosophical challenge of taking on the counterintuitive side of an argument, of expressing whatever might go against the received wisdom of his time. At the same time, however, one always has a strong sense that the man from Geneva believes deeply in what he says.

Rousseau takes great care in differentiating between the executive and legislative functions of government, just as carefully as he distinguishes between "the sovereign" and "the government." Perhaps because I was traveling in Lucerne while reading "The Social Contract," I took particular interest in Rousseau's assertion that small countries were best suited for republican government, as when he writes that democratic government is best suited to "a very small state, where the people may be readily assembled and where each citizen may easily know all the others" (p. 113). Looking at the beautiful little cities of Switzerland, each one sheltered by a cool clear lake at its front and a wall of mountains at its back, I could understand why Rousseau may have thought that such a setting was perfect for successful republican government. It seems worthy of mentioning, in that connection, that Geneva is still officially "the *Republic and* Canton of Geneva" (emphasis mine). Truly, the Swiss take their independence seriously. Think about *that* the next time you're in the old section of Zurich, enjoying some cheese fondue and a glass of Chasselas.

How, I found myself wondering, would Rousseau have felt about the United States as an experiment in building a large republic? When Rousseau wrote "The Social Contract" in 1762, the French & Indian War was not yet over, and the idea of American independence from Great Britain was not even on the horizon. By the time Rousseau died in 1778, the Continental Army had won the battle of Saratoga, and American independence was starting to seem like more of a real possibility. Did Rousseau ever talk about any of that? I don't know.

There were plenty of times when I found myself disagreeing with Rousseau. Among the city-states of classical Greece, he prefers Sparta to Athens, and I could not disagree with him more in that regard. I also thought that he treated the topic of dictatorship much too lightly and casually, as when he assures us that "a dictator could in certain cases defend the public freedom without ever being able to invade it" (p. 172); if he had lived through the 20th century, and had been writing "The Social Contract" in, say, 1962 rather than 1762, perhaps he would written about dictatorship quite differently. But I think Rousseau would have liked having readers disagree with him; for him, that was no doubt an integral part of the dialogue regarding the relationship between the individual and society.

This Penguin edition of "The Social Contract" is a good way for a first-time reader of Rousseau to get to know the philosopher and his work. The preface by British scholar and translator Maurice Cranston does an excellent job of situating "The Social Contract" in its social and historical context, and in terms of the biographical facts of Rousseau's life. Rousseau's reflections on government, on society, on sovereignty (be ready to hear a lot about the "general will"), are always thought-provoking. Read "The Social Contract"; and when you are done reading it, reflect on how you as an individual relate to the society in which you live. How do you feel regarding the terms of the contract that Jean-Jacques Rousseau says you have signed?
Golkis
This book is a well-done standard edition of the most important of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's political writings, using the classic Cole introduction and translation. It is nicely bound, in the manner of quality books before cheap paperbacks took over the industry. The size, 4.5" x 7.25" 325 pages, makes it a convenient carry-along for reading, as usual in the Everyman's Library. Good quality printing and binding in every respect.

There are other more current editions of Rousseau's writings available, but this one has stood the test of time.

With that, Cole was sympathetic toward Rousseau's political theories, which makes for good translation, but not a very objective analysis. In my opinion, Cole completely misunderstands the implications of Rousseau's invocation of the General Will, which perhaps with some distortion by later readers, has been responsible for many of the social-political disasters of the past two hundred years, including the Reign of Terror and guillotine excess of the French revolution under Robespierre.
Xar
The “Social Contract,” published 1762, is a very elegant piece of writing. Rousseau's knowledge of history, human nature, and his use of logic create a cogent argument. He illustrates through example how men can live together with equality and equity if allowed to. The modern reader might think the ideas of the French Enlightenment obvious—even quaint.

The oppression, torture, and death inflicted upon the common man by the early and middle years of Christianity have since disappeared, but human nature has remained constant. For recent generations the reign of Stalin, Hitler, and Mao Zedong are living memories; and now, with the fiefdoms of Islam, it is happening again.

How quaint is the advice given to us centuries earlier—how deaf have we become?

Or is it our nature?
Adaly
I didn't think that Ardrey (or anyone else for that matter) could surpass the excellence of The Territorial Imperative as the standard reference on human socio-political organisation, but I'm starting to think The Social Contract might just achieve that. I'm an unabashed Ardrey fan, so perhaps it's not surprising. Ardrey is a fine, ethical scientist who made no effort to be politically correct. I found this book riveting from the first page to the last, and like Territorial Imperative did some years ago, it formed a watershed in my understanding of the puzzling penchant of my species for warfare in all its many forms. I wish I could give it ten stars.
Wal
I didn't know any of Rousseau's background. He was kind of a dirt bag. That said he's a dirt bag who writes amazingly well and I felt pumped up before realizing how many contradictions are in his work. I see how this helped spur revolutions but failed to provided guidance on what to do after them!
Xinetan
Americans have several heroes and intellectual forefathers. Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams et al all were literary geniuses, schooled in the progressive thought of the Enlightenment. Rousseau is one of the most influential in tat he wrote of a contract willingly entered into by people in order to prosper. “ Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.” Is there anything more provocative than this quote?