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The Legacy of Rousseau

Few thinkers have enjoyed so pervasive an influence as Rousseau, who originated dissatisfaction with modernity. By exploring polarities articulated by Rousseau—nature versus society, self versus other, community versus individual, and compassion versus competitiveness—these fourteen original essays show how his thought continues to shape our ways of talking, feeling, thinking, and complaining.

The volume begins by taking up a central theme noted by the late Allan Bloom—Rousseau’s critique of the bourgeois as the dominant modern human type and as a being fundamentally in contradiction, caught between the sentiments of nature and the demands of society. It then turns to Rousseau’s crucial polarity of nature and society and to the later conceptions of history and culture it gave rise to. The third part surveys Rousseau’s legacy in both domestic and international politics. Finally, the book examines Rousseau’s contributions to the virtues that have become central to the current sensibility: community, sincerity, and compassion.

Contributors include Allan Bloom, François Furet, Pierre Hassner, Christopher Kelly, Roger Masters, and Arthur Melzer.

345 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1996

Philosophy: History and Classic Works

Political Science: Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, and International Relations

Table of Contents

Clifford Orwin, Nathan Tarcov.
1: The Problem of the Bourgeois
Werner J. Dannhauser
2: Rousseau and the Case against (and for) the Arts
Christopher Kelly
3: Rousseau, Kant, and the Beginning of History
Susan Shell
4: The Tension in the Beautiful: On Culture and Civilization in Rousseau and German Philosophy
Richard Velkley
5: Rousseau and Freud on Sexuality and Its Discontents
Joel Schwartz
6: Rousseau and the Rediscovery of Human Nature
Roger D. Masters
7: Rousseau’s Critique of Liberal Constitutionalism
Allan Bloom
8: Rousseau and the French Revolution
Francois Furet
9: Rousseau and the Origins of Nationalism
Marc F. Plattner
10: Rousseau and the Theory and Practice of International Relations
Pierre Hassner
11: Rousseau, Ethnicity, and Difference
H. D. Forbes
12: Privacy and Community
Steven Kautz
13: Rousseau and the Modern Cult of Sincerity
Arthur M. Melzer
14: Rousseau and the Discovery of Political Compassion
Clifford Orwin

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