On the Social Contract

This Critical edition of Rousseau’s most important work offers the definitive modern translation of the work itself and complete translations of its two predecessors, Political Economy and the Geneva Manuscript. The text includes an extensive introduction and notes that provide interpretive and biographical information and clarify many previously obscure references in the text.

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The First and Second Discourses

This was a peculiar reading. When I read it first, I had a reaction similar to that of Voltaire when Rousseau sent him a manuscript of one of his later books, The Social Contract:"I have received your new book against the human race, and thank you for it. Never was such a cleverness used in the design of making us all stupid. One longs, in reading your book, to walk on all fours. But as I have lost that habit for more than sixty...

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On Women, Love, and Family

A key thematic sampling of Rousseau's published writings come together in this exciting anthology, some newly translated or translated into English for the first time by the editors. Featured writings include Narcissus; Queen Whimsical; The Two Sexes, and On Love (from Letter to d'Alembert); "On Women," "Sophie, or the Woman," On Love, and Mothers and Infants (from Emile); Women of Paris, and Domestic Life (from Julie); Letters to "Henriette";...

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Julie, or the New Heloise

An elegant translation of one of the most popular novels of its time. Rousseau's great epistolary novel, Julie, or the New Heloise, has been virtually unavailable in English since 1810. In it, Rousseau reconceptualized the relationship of the individual to the collective and articulated a new moral paradigm. The story follows the fates and smoldering passions of Julie d'Etange and St. Preux, a one-time lover who re-enters Julie's life at the...

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Emile

The acclaimed series The Collected Writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau concludes with a volume centering on Emile (1762), which Rousseau called his "greatest and best book." Here Rousseau enters into critical engagement with thinkers such as Locke and Plato, giving his most comprehensive account of the relation between happiness and citizenship, teachers and students, and men and women. In this volume Christopher Kelly presents Allan Bloom's...

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The Social Contract

In The Social Contract Rousseau (1712-1778) argues for the preservation of individual freedom in political society. An individual can only be free under the law, he says, by voluntarily embracing that law as his own. Hence, being free in society requires each of us to subjugate our desires to the interests of all, the general will.Some have seen in this the promise of a free and equal relationship between society and the individual,...

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The Essential Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau remains an important figure in the history of philosophy, both because of his contributions to political philosophy and moral psychology and because of his influence on later thinkers. Rousseau's own view of philosophy and philosophers was firmly negative, seeing philosophers as the post-hoc rationalizers of self-interest, as apologists for various forms of tyranny, and as playing a role in the alienation of the modern...

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Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

A strikingly original inquiry into politics and human nature, the Discourse presents a theoretical view of people in a pre-social condition and the ensuing effects of civilization. In his sweeping account of social and political development, the author develops a theory of evolution that prefigures Darwinism and encompasses aspects of ethics, sociology, and epistemology. One of the most influential works of the Enlightenment, the...

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