Taking Rousseau Seriously

O'Hagan, Tim (2004) Taking Rousseau Seriously. History of Political Thought, 25 (1). pp. 73-85.

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The article argues that Rousseau's thought is unified by a non-materialistic, non-deterministic version of naturalism, according to which human beings are intrinsically good and intrinsically free, and at the same time moulded by their natural and social environment. Within that unity the article identifies a deep, creative tension between two competing visions of the best attainable form of human life: On the one hand a vision of a unified, integrated life (a life of goodness), in which inner conflicts are at a minimum and the goal is happiness; on the other hand a vision of a divided life (a life of virtue) whose goal is self-mastery. In support of this interpretation of Rousseau, the article subjects the readings of Cassirer and Strauss-Masters to a detailed critique. It concludes with a brief examination of Rousseau's intriguing claim that he would 'rather be a man of paradoxes than a man of prejudices'.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Philosophy
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Philosophy
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2010 13:56
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 02:33
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9147

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