If the greatness of a philosophical work can be measured by the
volume and vehemence of the public response, there is little
question that Rousseau's Social Contract stands out as a
masterpiece. Within a week of its publication in 1762 it was
banished from France. Soon thereafter, Rousseau fled to Geneva,
where he saw the book burned in public. At the same time, many of
his contemporaries, such as Kant, considered Rousseau to be 'the
Newton of the moral world', as he was the first philosopher to draw
attention to the basic dignity of human nature. The Social Contract
has never ceased to be read and debated in the 250 years since its
publication. Rousseau's Social Contract: An Introduction offers a
thorough and systematic tour of this notoriously paradoxical and
challenging text. David Lay Williams offers readers a
chapter-by-chapter reading of the Social Contract, squarely
confronting these interpretive obstacles. The book also features a
special extended appendix dedicated to outlining Rousseau's famous
conception of the general will, which has been the object of
controversy since the Social Contract's publication in 1762.
|Country of origin:
||Cambridge Introductions to Key Philosophical Texts
David Lay Williams
||Electronic book text
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