The Legacy of Rousseau

ISBN 13: 9780226638560

The Legacy of Rousseau

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9780226638560: 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.

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From Library Journal:

This excellent collection of essays from editors Orwin (The Humanity of Thucydides, Princeton Univ., 1994) and Tarcov (Discourses on Livy, Univ. of Chicago, 1994) makes large claims for Rousseau. Most of the contributors, who include Roger Masters, Francois Furet, and the late Allan Bloom, take Rousseau to be a systematic political philosopher of the highest rank. He was particularly concerned with the split between nature and culture in modern society and the unsatisfactory nature of the bourgeois personality. He has greatly influenced both rightist and leftist ideologies; but to these contributors, Rousseau's successors did not grasp the depth of his thought. Nearly everywhere in the book, Leo Strauss is a guiding presence. Highly recommended, although students should supplement the book with other perspectives.?David Gordon, Bowling Green State Univ., Ohio
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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