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The work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is presented in two volumes, together forming the most comprehensive anthology of Rousseau's political writings in English. Volume II contains the later writings such as The Social Contract and a selection of Rousseau's letters on important aspects of his thought. The Social Contract has become Rousseau's most famous single work, but on publication was condemned by both the civil and the ecclesiastical authorities in France and Geneva. Rousseau fled and it is during this period that (...) he wrote some of his autobiographical works as well as political essays such as On the Government of Poland. This volume, like its predecessor, contains a comprehensive introduction, chronology and guide to further reading, and will enable students to obtain a full understanding of the writings of one of the world's greatest thinkers. (shrink)
In his Discourses, Rousseau argues that inequalities of rank, wealth, and power are the inevitable result of the civilizing process. If inequality is intolerable - and Rousseau shows with unparalledled eloquence how it robs us not only of our material but also of our psychological independence - then how can we recover the peaceful self-sufficiency of life in the state of nature? We cannot return to a simpler time, but measuring the costs of progress may help us to imagine alternatives (...) to the corruption and oppressive conformity of modern society. Rousseau's sweeping account of humanity's social and political development epitomizes the innovative boldness of the Englightment, and it is one of the most provocative and influential works of the eighteenth century. This new translation includes all Rousseau's own notes, and Patrick Coleman's introduction builds on recent key scholarship, considering particularly the relationship between political and aesthetic thought. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. (shrink)
The work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is presented in two volumes, together forming the most comprehensive anthology of Rousseau's political writings in English. This second volume contains the earlier writings such as the First and Second Discourses, the publication of which signalled the power and challenge of Rousseau's thinking. Rousseau's influence was wide reaching and has continued to grow since his death: major landmarks in world history, such as the American and French Revolutions, were profoundly affected by Rousseau's writing, as were (...) cultural and intellectual movements such as Romanticism and Idealism. This volume, like its successor, contains a comprehensive introduction, chronology and guide to further reading and will enable students to obtain a full understanding of the writings of one of the world's greatest thinkers. (shrink)
Revolutionary in its own time and controversial to this day, this work is a permanent classic of political theory and a key source of democratic belief. Rousseau's concepts of "the general will" as a mode of self-interest uniting for a common good, and the submission of the individual to government by contract inform the heart of democracy, and stand as its most contentious components today. Also included in this edition is Rousseau's Discourse on Political Economy", a key transitional work between (...) his Discourse on Inequality and The Social Contract. This new translation offers fresh insight into a cornerstone of political thought, which is further illuminated by a comprehensive introduction and notes. (shrink)
Part reminiscence, part meditation, Reveries of the Solitary Walker is Rousseau's last great work, the enduring testimony of an alienated person seeking self-knowledge. As he records his walks round Paris, he finds happiness in solitude and nature. The new translation includes an introduction and notes that explore the work and its contexts.
Dans le Discours sur l’économie politique, Rousseau forme deux éléments essentiels de sa pensée politique : la notion de la volonté générale et la distinction entre souveraineté et gouvernement. Pourtant, la place centrale qui revient à cette œuvre ne lui a pas été reconnue. D’abord publiée comme article de l’Encyclopédie, elle a longtemps été considérée comme marquée par l’influence de Diderot. Son objet, l’économie, semblait étranger aux préoccupations essentielles de Rousseau.Cette nouvelle édition, appuyée sur le brouillon manuscrit, éclaire la genèse (...) du texte. Le commentaire proposé cherche à dégager l’unité et la spécificité de l’œuvre : il analyse le processus d’invention de la volonté générale et l’émergence des problèmes décisifs liés à cette notion; il restitue son sens à l’économie politique dans la pensée de Rousseau; il situe son intervention, centrale parce que singulière, dans les débats de son temps. C’est sans doute ce qui fait aussi son intérêt présent : parce que l’administration des choses, à ses yeux, doit dépendre de celle des hommes, Rousseau lie les questions du patriotisme, de l’éducation publique à celles de la propriété et de l’impôt. Il affirme clairement que l’économie doit être pensée sous la politique parce que l’égalité est la condition de la liberté. (shrink)
'No one can write a man's life except himself.' -/- In his Confessions Jean-Jacques Rousseau tells the story of his life, from the formative experience of his humble childhood in Geneva, through the achievement of international fame as novelist and philosopher in Paris, to his wanderings as an exile, persecuted by governments and alienated from the world of modern civilization. In trying to explain who he was and how he came to be the object of others' admiration and abuse, Rousseau (...) analyses with unique insight the relationship between an elusive but essential inner self and the variety of social identities he was led to adopt. The book vividly illustrates the mixture of moods and motives that underlie the writing of autobiography: defiance and vulnerability, self-exploration and denial, passion, puzzlement, and detachment. Above all, Confessions is Rousseau's search, through every resource of language, to convey what he despairs of putting into words: the personal quality of one's own existence. (shrink)
This substantially revised new edition of _Rousseau: The Basic Political Writings_ features a brilliant new Introduction by David Wootton, a revision by Donald A. Cress of his own 1987 translation of Rousseau's most important political writings, and the addition of Cress' new translation of Rousseau's _State of?War_. New footnotes, headnotes, and a chronology by David Wootton provide expert guidance to first-time readers of the texts.
In addition, this edition offers the best available translation of the late and important Government of Poland and the only published English translation of the fragment Constitutional Project for Corsica, which, says Watkins, provides the ...
_"The Government of Poland_ is the only finished work in which Rousseau himself dons the mantle of legislator, applying the principles of the _Social Contract_ to the real world around him. _Poland_ teaches us much about the mysterious art of the _Social Contract's_ 'legislator,' how he transforms each individual into part of a larger whole. Only in... _Poland_ do we find what this crucial transformation entails and what it presupposes. But probably the greatest lesson to be learned from... Poland concerns (...) Rousseau's understanding of the proper relationship between theory and practice.... Time and again we see Rousseau advising the Poles to do things which are in gross violation of the strict principles of political right he had elaborated in the Social Contract." --Richard Myers in _Canadian Journal of Political Science_. (shrink)
Frederick Watkins’ 1953 edition of Rousseau’s _Political Writings_ has long been noted for being fully accurate while representing much of Rousseau’s eloquence and elegance. It contains what is widely regarded as the finest English translation of _The Social Contract_, Rousseau’s greatest political treatise. In addition, this edition offers the best available translation of the late and important _Government of Poland_ and the only published English translation of the fragment _Constitutional Project for Corsica_, which, says Watkins, provides the clearest possible demonstration (...) of the practical implications of Rousseau’s political thought. (shrink)
Of laws in general -- Of laws directly derived from the nature of government -- Of the principles of the three kinds of government -- That the laws of education ought to be relative to the principles of government -- That the laws given by the legislator ought to be relative to the nature of government -- Consquences of the principles of different governments, with respect to the simplicity of civil and criminal laws, the form of judgements, and inflicting of (...) punishments -- Consquences of the different principles of the three governments, with respect to sumptuary laws, luxury, and the condition of women -- Of the corruption of the principles of the three governments -- Of the laws in the relation they bear to defensive force -- Of laws, in the relation they bear to offensive force. (shrink)
Originally published in 1941, this book contains the French text of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's 1755 treatise Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes, in which he examines the artificial origins of human social structures designed to keep one group elevated above another. The preface by F. C. Green provides the historical context for Rousseau's essay and explains its influence on the authors of the French Revolution. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in (...) French history or political philosophy. (shrink)