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Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Swiss Enlightenment philosopher who argued passionately for democracy, equality, liberty and supporting the common good.
Rousseau was born in Geneva in 1712. He wrote several major works on politics, education, music and botany. But his controve...
The general will is the key to Rousseau's social contract theory. He stated that any legitimate state must be based on the general will. All laws and actions the state undertakes must be in accordance with it.
The general will is the will of the sum of individual w...
As with most political philosophy, the real concern is how his big ideas are considered in our society.
Whenever we discuss topics like what it takes for a government to be legitimate, if modern society is good for us, or what we think should be subject to a vote, we draw ...
If the state of nature is so pleasant and people in it so moral, why would anybody create a society or join up with one?
Jean-Jacques Rousseau suggested this natural evolution is the result of the need for individuals to cooperate. However, forming societies takes...
The shift between being able to follow the individual will and the general will is not so easy to establish.
Finding the general will is based on three approaches.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued that human nature only becomes corrupted after we move into society.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau speculated about what the world was like before societies were created. It was important for political philosophers as it could be used to explain the motivation for creating and supporting a state.
Rousseau suggested that the state of nature was a morally neu...
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