A paradox of sovereignty in Rousseau's social contract

Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (1):45-56 (2006)
  Copy   BIBTEX


One unique part of Rousseau's Social Contract is his argument that a just society must have a specific constitutional arrangement of powers centred around what he calls the Sovereign and the Prince. This makes his philosophy different from other contractualists, such as Hobbes and Locke, who think that the principles of good government are compatible with any number of institutional structures. Rousseau's constitutional theory is thus significant in a way that has no parallel in Hobbes or Locke. More to the point, any problems that exist in his constitutional theory will have consequences for his political thought as a whole. This article argues that there is a contradiction at the center of Rousseau's theory of institutions that threatens the cogency of the Social Contract. Key Words: Rousseau • separation of powers • social contract • sovereignty.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,088

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Comment on Munoz-dardé's'liberty's chains'.Niko Kolodny - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):197-212.
Hobbes and Rousseau: a collection of critical essays.Maurice William Cranston - 1972 - Garden City, N.Y.,: Anchor Books. Edited by R. S. Peters.
Social contract theory.Celeste Friend - 2004 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Discourse on Political Economy: And, The Social Contract.Jean-Jacques Rousseau - 1994 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
The social contract and other later political writings.Jean-Jacques Rousseau - 1997 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Victor Gourevitch.


Added to PP

329 (#57,310)

6 months
14 (#126,197)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Jean Jacques Rousseau’s concept of freedom and equality in the Social Contract.Trang Do - 2023 - TRANS/FORM/AÇÃO: REVISTA DE FILOSOFIA 46 (2):305–324.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Add more references