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The distinguished philosopher David Gauthier examines Rousseau's evolving notion of freedom, particularly in his later works, where he focuses on a single quest: Can freedom and the independent self be regained? Rousseau's first answer is given in Emile, where he seeks to create a self-sufficient individual, neither materially nor psychologically enslaved to others. His second answer comes in the Social Contract, where he seeks to create a citizen who identifies totally with his community, so that he experiences his dependence on it only as a dependence on himself. Implicitly recognizing the failure of these solutions, his third answer is one of the main themes of the Confessions and Reveries, where he creates himself as the man made for a kind of love that merges with another's into a self-sufficient unity.Read more
- Discusses Rousseau's writings from the Discourses to the Reveries
- Shows how Rousseau's account of humankind's first words - 'Love me!' and 'Help me!' are central to his discussion of freedom and self
- Includes Rousseau's once widely read novel, Julie, or The New Eloise, in its account of Rousseau's views of love, freedom, and the self
Reviews & endorsements
"Gauthier's reading of Rousseau's works, especially in terms of the key ideas of dependence and freedom, is, in many places , highly illuminating and does begin to bring to light the structures of an underlying unity." - Ann Hartle, Emory UniversitySee more reviews
"a provocative essay on Rousseau from a noted scholar of Hobbes and one that will be of interest to scholars and students alike." - Rebecca Kingston, University of Toronto
"The conversation Gauthier assembles is impressive...Gauthier's presentation of the fabric of writing that makes up Rousseau's work accurately reflects its dialectical patterning and reveals some unexpected threads among its connected strands."
Zev M. Trachtenberg, University of Oklahoma, Ethics
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- Date Published: April 2006
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521007597
- length: 214 pages
- dimensions: 215 x 140 x 12 mm
- weight: 0.254kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Legends of the fall
2. Making a man
3. Politics of redemption
4. In Julie's garden
5. Making Jean-Jacques
6. Citizen of Geneva
7. The last promenade.
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