Journal of the History of Philosophy 35 (4):545-562 (1997)

Authors
Jon Mandle
State University of New York, Albany
Abstract
Rousseauian Constructivism JON MANDLE ROUSSEAU'S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY focusses on the idea of the general will. Unfortunately, it often seems as though this central idea raises more questions than it answers. This paper will develop an interpretation of Rousseau's politi- cal philosophy that starts from an understanding of the general will. I do not claim that this reading solves all of the paradoxical and difficult aspects of Rousseau's moral and political thought. For example, I do not discuss his ac- count of freedom or his theory of moral education. However, I believe that it is necessary to understand Rousseau's notion of the general will properly before addressing these other topics. As Judith Shklar writes: "The general will is Rousseau's most successful metaphor. It conveys everything he most wanted to say."' Patrick Riley has demonstrated that the notion of a general will has its origins in theological disputes. But, as Riley also notes, there are a number of possible approaches to Rousseau, "each one laden with real fruit. One can approach Rousseau as the high point of the social contract tradition. ''~ In this paper, I present an account of the general will which at- tempts to identify more clearly Rousseau's position in this social contract tradi- tion, especially through a contrast with Hobbes. As I demonstrate in the con- cluding section, a proper understanding of the general will reveals important connections to..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1353/hph.1997.0075
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,037
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
39 ( #277,801 of 2,454,404 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,346 of 2,454,404 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes