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Rousseau and Geneva
From the First Discourse to The Social Contract, 1749–1762


Part of Ideas in Context

  • Date Published: February 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521033954

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • Rousseau and Geneva reconstructs the main aspects of Genevan socio-economic, political and religious thought in the first half of the eighteenth century. In this way Dr Rosenblatt effectively contextualizes the development of Rousseau's thought from the First Discourse through to the Social Contract. Over time Rousseau has been adopted as a French thinker, but this adoption obscures his Genevan origin. Dr Rosenblatt points out that he is, in fact, a Genevan thinker and illustrates that Rousseau's classical republicanism, his version of natural law theory, his civil religion and his hostility to the arguments of doux commerce theorists are all responses to the political use of such arguments in Geneva. The author also points out that it was this relationship with Geneva that played an integral part in his development into an original political thinker.

    • Extensive use of previously unpublished archival material relating to Calvinism and the political history of Geneva
    • Finds coherence on Rousseau's thought by systematically linking it with the Genevan context
    • Retrieves Rousseau from the French context and places him within the context of eighteenth-century Geneva
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… the first published book in English that integrates Constant's views on religion and his ideas on politics … The great merit of Helena Rosenblatt's erudite andinsightful book is that it sheds fresh light on how Constant achieved his goal and how he remained faithful to it to the very end of his agitated and controversial life.' The Review of Politics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521033954
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 150 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.487kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Note on translation
    List of abbreviations
    Introduction. Rousseau in a Genevan context
    1. The formation of a 'citizen of Geneva'
    2. Rousseau becomes Rousseau, 1751–4: Geneva, doux commerce, and Rousseau from the First to the Second Discourse
    3. Rousseau and natural law: the context
    4. Rousseau and natural law: the Second Discourse
    5. The 'invisible chain': Rousseau and Geneva from the Second Discourse to the Social Contract
    6. The Social Contract
    Select bibliography

  • Author

    Helena Rosenblatt, Hunter College, City University of New York

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