Rousseau's Political Philosophy Analytical Essay by Jay Writtings LLC

Rousseau's Political Philosophy
An examination of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's ideas about society and government.
# 117652 | 2,503 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2009 | US

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This paper discusses the social and political philosophy of the eighteenth-century philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The writer examines several of Rousseau's theories, such as the harmful effect of material progress, and how his ideas developed as he applied them to political issues. The continuing interest of his work comes from the fact that the problems which he addressed in the 1700s are still crucial issues in modern politics. One of the primary principles of Rousseau's political philosophy is that politics and morality should not be separated, and another important principle is freedom, which the state is created to preserve. The paper concludes that Rousseau's philosophy has been found inspirational by many who have shared his sense of outrage at the inequalities present within their own societies.

From the Paper:

"Locke's social contract theory was intertwined with his understanding of an innate, essential human rationality constituting 'natural law'. Rousseau, outlined a different version of contract theory, based on the conception of popular sovereignty, defined as indivisible and inalienable - this last trait explaining Rousseau's aversion for representative democracy and his advocacy of direct democracy. Rousseau's theory has many similarities with the individualist Lockean liberal tradition, but also departs from it on many significant points. For example, his theory of popular sovereignty includes a conception of a "general will", which is more than the simple sum of individual wills: it is thus collectivist or holistic, rather than individualist."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Collier, T. " Philosopher of the Month". The Philosophers Magazine on the Internet. June 2003.
  • Cullen, D., Freedom in Rousseau's Political Philosophy . Northern Illinois Press: Illinois. 1993
  • The Internet Encyclopedia on Philosophy. "Rousseau".
  • Watkins, F. Rousseau Political Writings. Yale University. 1953.

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