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  1.  43
    Justice and the General Will: Affirming Rousseau's Ancient Orientation.David Lay Williams - 2005 - Journal of the History of Ideas 66 (3):383-411.
  2.  8
    Rousseau's Platonic Enlightenment.David Lay Williams - 2007 - Pennsylvania State University Press.
    Although many commentators on Rousseau’s philosophy have noted its affinities with Platonism and acknowledged the debt that Rousseau himself expressed to Plato on numerous occasions, David Williams is the first to offer a thoroughgoing, systematic examination of this linkage. His contributions to the scholarship on Rousseau in this book are threefold: he enters the debate over whether Rousseau is a Hobbesian or a Platonist with a decisive argument supporting the latter position; he tackles from a new angle the ever-challenging question (...)
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  3.  5
    Rousseau's Social Contract: An Introduction.David Lay Williams - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
    If the greatness of a philosophical work can be measured by the volume and vehemence of the public response, there is little question that Rousseau's Social Contract stands out as a masterpiece. Within a week of its publication in 1762 it was banished from France. Soon thereafter, Rousseau fled to Geneva, where he saw the book burned in public. At the same time, many of his contemporaries, such as Kant, considered Rousseau to be 'the Newton of the moral world', as (...)
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  4.  47
    Hobbes and Terrorism.David Lay Williams - 2009 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 21 (1):91-108.
    ABSTRACT Terrorism is perhaps the greatest challenge of the contemporary age. Of all the canonical figures in political theory, Thomas Hobbes is the most likely candidate to offer genuine insight into this problem. Yet although his analysis of the state of nature is immediately relevant to the diagnosis of this problem, his metaphysics cannot sustain his politics. His aspiration to ?immutable? natural laws grounded in the universal motivation of the fear of death crumble when this fear is no longer universal. (...)
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  5.  20
    Hobbes, Locke, and Confusion's Masterpiece: An Examination of Seventeenth-Century Political Philosophy (Review).David Lay Williams - 2004 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 42 (2):224-225.
  6.  4
    The General Will: The Evolution of a Concept.James Farr & David Lay Williams (eds.) - 2015 - Cambridge University Press.
    Although it originated in theological debates, the general will ultimately became one of the most celebrated and denigrated concepts emerging from early modern political thought. Jean-Jacques Rousseau made it the central element of his political theory, and it took on a life of its own during the French Revolution, before being subjected to generations of embrace or opprobrium. James Farr and David Lay Williams have collected for the first time a set of essays that track the evolving history of the (...)
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  7.  58
    Rousseau on Inequality and Free Will. [REVIEW]David Lay Williams - 2017 - Political Theory 45 (4):552-565.
  8.  18
    Balaguer, Mark. Free Will. [REVIEW]David Lay Williams - 2014 - Review of Metaphysics 68 (2):415-416.
  9. Christopher D. Wraight, Rousseau's The Social Contract: A Reader's Guide.David Lay Williams - 2009 - Philosophy in Review 29 (4):304.
     
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  10.  23
    Hobbes on Wealth, Poverty, and Economic Inequality.David Lay Williams - 2021 - Hobbes Studies 34 (1):9-57.
    While Thomas Hobbes is not typically cited as a philosopher concerned with economic inequality, there is a great deal of evidence in his writings to suggest that he was aware of inequality and worried about its effects on the commonwealth. This essay first contextualizes Hobbes in the development of the 17th-century English political economy to understand the mercantilist milieu that might have shaped Hobbes’s thoughts. Second, it then explores Hobbes’s thoughts on wealth, poverty, and inequality, as outlined in his major (...)
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  11.  2
    Introduction.David Lay Williams - 2021 - European Journal of Political Theory 20 (3):568-574.
    This introduction to the review symposium on Ryan Patrick Hanley’s works on the relatively neglected early modern philosopher François Fénelon provides a brief overview of the symposium itself before turning to Hanley’s treatment of Fénelon’s work on the intersection of politics and religion, culminating in a comparison of Fénelon with his most celebrated admirer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The article sketches how both francophone thinkers employ conceptions of divine justice as a measure to counter the dangers of amour-propre, contrasting Fénelon’s thick theology (...)
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  12.  10
    Patrick Riley (1941-2015) In Memoriam.David Lay Williams - 2014 - The Leibniz Review 24:145-151.
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  13.  61
    Patrick Riley’s Leibniz.David Lay Williams - 2011 - The Leibniz Review 21:1-8.
    This essay clarifies Patrick Riley’s account of G. W. Leibniz by placing Leibniz’s moral and political doctrines in historical perspective. By understanding Leibniz’s practical philosophy as a solution to the same problems confronted by Thomas Hobbes, one can appreciate the originality and appeal of Riley’s Leibniz — with its emphasis on benevolence and Platonic ideas. By drawing attention to Leibniz’s practical works, Riley has resurrected an important voice in the history of political thought that had been long neglected. The essay (...)
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  14.  12
    Patrick Riley’s Leibniz.David Lay Williams - 2011 - The Leibniz Review 21:1-8.
    This essay clarifies Patrick Riley’s account of G. W. Leibniz by placing Leibniz’s moral and political doctrines in historical perspective. By understanding Leibniz’s practical philosophy as a solution to the same problems confronted by Thomas Hobbes, one can appreciate the originality and appeal of Riley’s Leibniz — with its emphasis on benevolence and Platonic ideas. By drawing attention to Leibniz’s practical works, Riley has resurrected an important voice in the history of political thought that had been long neglected. The essay (...)
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  15.  27
    Patrick Riley’s Leibniz.David Lay Williams - 2011 - The Leibniz Review 21:1-8.
    This essay clarifies Patrick Riley’s account of G. W. Leibniz by placing Leibniz’s moral and political doctrines in historical perspective. By understanding Leibniz’s practical philosophy as a solution to the same problems confronted by Thomas Hobbes, one can appreciate the originality and appeal of Riley’s Leibniz — with its emphasis on benevolence and Platonic ideas. By drawing attention to Leibniz’s practical works, Riley has resurrected an important voice in the history of political thought that had been long neglected. The essay (...)
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  16. Rousseau's Platonic Enlightenment.David Lay Williams - 2007 - Pennsylvania State University Press.
    Although many commentators on Rousseau’s philosophy have noted its affinities with Platonism and acknowledged the debt that Rousseau himself expressed to Plato on numerous occasions, David Williams is the first to offer a thoroughgoing, systematic examination of this linkage. His contributions to the scholarship on Rousseau in this book are threefold: he enters the debate over whether Rousseau is a Hobbesian or a Platonist with a decisive argument supporting the latter position; he tackles from a new angle the ever-challenging question (...)
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  17. The General Will Vs. The Will of All: Making Room for the People in a Transcendently Justified State.David Lay Williams - 1999 - Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin
    In the founding documents of this country one finds appeals both to the sovereignty of the people and to abstract notions of rights, "justice," and "the common good". These two ideas are evoked almost as if there were no sense on behalf of the framers that these two ideas simultaneously held create a philosophic tension. Yet as history informs us, they are often contradictory in content. This theme was explored by Rousseau in his distinction of the general will versus the (...)
     
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