The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau is a 1762 book about the best way to establish a political community in the face of the problems of commercial society, which he had already identified in his Discourse on Inequality. The Social Contract argued against the idea that monarchs were divinely empowered to legislate. Rousseau asserts that only the people, who are sovereign, have that all-powerful right. Social contract theory is the view that persons' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live. After Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are the best known proponents of this enormously influential theory, which has been one of the most dominant theories within moral and political theory throughout the history of the modern West.
This reader introduces students of philosophy and politics to the contemporary critical literature on the classical social contract theorists: Thomas Hobbes (1599-1697), John Locke (1632-1704), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). Twelve thoughtfully selected essays guide students through the texts, familiarizing them with key elements of the theory, while at the same time introducing them to current scholarly controversies. A bibliography of additional work is provided. The classical social contract theorists represent one of the two or three most important modern traditions in political thought. Their ideas dominated political debates in Europe and North America in the 17th and 18th centuries, influencing political thinkers, statesmen, constitution makers, revolutionaries, and other political actors alike. Debates during the French Revolution and the early history of the American Republic were often conducted in the language of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Later political philosophy can only be understood against this backdrop. And the contemporary revival of contractarian moral and political thought, represented by John Rawls' A Theory of Justice (1971) or David GauthierOs Morals by Agreement (1986), needs to be appreciated in the history of this tradition.
"Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains." Thus begins Rousseau's influential 1762 work, in which he argues that all government is fundamentally flawed and that modern society is based on a system of inequality. The philosopher posits that a good government can justify its need for individual compromises and that promoting social settings in which people transcend their immediate appetites and desires leads to the development of self-governing, self-disciplined beings. A milestone of political science, these essays are essential reading for students of history, philosophy, and other social sciences. G. D. H. Cole translation.
This volume brings together three of Rousseau's most important political writings--The Social Contract and The First Discourse (Discourse on the Sciences and Arts) and The Second Discourse (Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality)--and presents essays by major scholars that shed light on these texts.
The new edition of this comprehensive and authoritative anthology of Rousseau's major later political writings, in up-to-date English translations.
Frederick Watkins 1953 edition of Rousseau s Political Writings has long been noted for being fully accurate while representing much of Rousseau s eloquence and elegance. It contains what is widely regarded as the finest English translation of The Social Contract, Rousseau s greatest political treatise. In addition, this edition offers the best available translation of the late and important Government of Poland and the only published English translation of the fragment Constitutional Project for Corsica, which, says Watkins, provides the clearest possible demonstration of the practical implications of Rousseau s political thought. "
Censored in its own time, the Social Contract (1762) remains a key source of democratic belief and is one of the classics of political theory. This new translation is fully annotated and indexed. The volume also contains the opening chapter of the manuscript version of the Contract, together with the long article on Political Economy, a work traditionally between the Contract and Rousseau's earlier masterpiece, the Discourse on Inequality.
A milestone of political science, Rousseau's 1762 work argues that all government is fundamentally flawed and that modern society is rife with inequality. He proposes an alternative system for the development of self-governing, self-disciplined citizens.
Rousseau's Social Contractis a benchmark in political philosophy that has inspired and influenced moral and political thought since publication and is widely studied for this reason.
'Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains.' These are the famous opening words of a treatise that has stirred vigorous debate ever since its first publication in 1762. Rejecting the view that anyone has a natural right to wield authority over others, Rousseau argues instead for a pact, or 'social contract', that should exist between all the citizens of a state and that should be the source of sovereign power. From this fundamental premise, he goes on to consider issues of liberty and law, freedom and justice, arriving at a view of society that has seemed to some a blueprint for totalitarianism, to others a declaration of democratic principles. Translated by Quintin Hoare With a new introduction by Christopher Bertram
In "The Social Contract" Rousseau theorized about the best way to establish a political community in the face of the problems of commercial society, which he had already identified in his Discourse on Inequality (1754). The Social Contract helped inspire political reforms or revolutions in Europe, especially in France. The Social Contract argued against the idea that monarchs were divinely empowered to legislate. Rousseau asserts that only the people, who are sovereign, have that all-powerful right. "Confessions" is an autobiographical book which covers the first fifty-three years of Rousseau's life, up to 1765. It was completed in 1769, but not published until 1782, four years after Rousseau's death, even though Rousseau did read excerpts of his manuscript publicly at various salons and other meeting places. He wrote of his own life mainly in terms of his worldly experiences and personal feelings.
Essay from the year 2008 in the subject Politics - Political Theory and the History of Ideas Journal, grade: 80%= good, University of Kerala (Department of Political Science), course: Political Theory- Liberal Tradition, language: English, abstract: This essay compares the classical social contract theories of Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. Different perceptions of the state of nature resulted in different ideas about the social contract and its emphasis on either security (Hobbes), individual rights (Locke) or the collective freedom of Rousseau's general will. Political philosophy is believed to have started with Plato's "Republic," the first known sophisticated analysis of a fundamental question that humans have probably been concerned with much longer: how should human society be organised, i.e. who should rule and why? Plato believed that ruling required special training and skills and should therefore be left to an aristocracy of guardians who had received extensive training. While the notion that ruling requires expertise can hardly be denied there is also agreement among most philosophers that whoever qualifies for the job of ruling needs to do so with the interest of the people in mind. But what is the interest of the people and how can it be discovered? According to Plato, a necessary precondition for rulers is wisdom and that is why he wanted his guardians to be especially trained in philosophy. One may think that the people themselves should know what is best for them but somewhat surprisingly this idea has been rejected not just by Plato but also by many philosophers following him. Another approach is to link rule on Earth to a mandate received from a divine Creator. However, even the idea that humans could not exist without a government has been questioned, most notably by anarchism. Thus, the question of how political rule, the power to make decisions for others, could be justified is an essential one. Only legitimate rule creates obligation and without o
Rousseau's major works, available in a uniform English edition, continue the dialog of Rousseau's linguistic and musical theory within his larger philosophical system.