Discourse on the origins of inequality (second discourse) ; Polemics ; and, Political economy

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Published for Dartmouth College by University Press of New England, 1992 - Business & Economics - 212 pages
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Includes the Second Discourse (complete with the author's extensive notes), contemporary critiques by Voltaire, Diderot, Bonnet, and LeRoy, Rousseau's replies (some never before translated), and Political Economy, which first outlined principles that were to become famous in the Social Contract. This is the first time that the works of 1755 and 1756 have been combined with careful commentary to show the coherence of Rousseau's "political system." The Second Discourse examines man in the true "state of nature," prior to the formation of the first human societies, tracing the "hypothetical history" of political society and social inequality as they developed out of natural equality and independence.

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User Review  - Robben - LibraryThing

The translation covers the history of French diction as a natural discourse. The Allusion to music an theater being related to idiom, adds to the topic of Fundemental Humanitarianism. and develops ... Read full review

The confessions; and, Correspondence, including the letters to Malesherbes

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Kelly's careful translation, based on the latest French critical edition, seems likely to become the standard English version of the Confessions. In his helpful introductory essay, Kelly claims that ... Read full review


Second Discount
Letter from Voltaire to Rousseau
Discourse on Political Economy

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About the author (1992)

Jean Jacques Rousseau was a Swiss philosopher and political theorist who lived much of his life in France. Many reference books describe him as French, but he generally added "Citizen of Geneva" whenever he signed his name. He presented his theory of education in Emile (1762), a novel, the first book to link the educational process to a scientific understanding of children; Rousseau is thus regarded as the precursor, if not the founder, of child psychology. "The greatest good is not authority, but liberty," he wrote, and in The Social Contract (1762) Rousseau moved from a study of the individual to an analysis of the relationship of the individual to the state: "The art of politics consists of making each citizen extremely dependent upon the polis in order to free him from dependence upon other citizens." This doctrine of sovereignty, the absolute supremacy of the state over its members, has led many to accuse Rousseau of opening the doors to despotism, collectivism, and totalitarianism. Others say that this is the opposite of Rousseau's intent, that the surrender of rights is only apparent, and that in the end individuals retain the rights that they appear to have given up. In effect, these Rousseau supporters say, the social contract is designed to secure or to restore to individuals in the state of civilization the equivalent of the rights they enjoyed in the state of nature. Rousseau was a passionate man who lived in passionate times, and he still stirs passion in those who write about him today.

Masters is a Professor of Government at Dartmouth College and editor of the "Biology and Social Life" section of Social Science Information. After a B.A. at Harvard (1955), he took his M.A. (1958) and Ph.D. (1961) at the University of Chicago, where he was a student of Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey.

Christopher Kelly is a professor of political science at Boston College. He is the author of "Rousseau's Exemplary Life" and coeditor of "The Collected Writings of Rousseau,