Chapter

Reflections on the General Will's Sovereignty

Joshua Cohen

in Rousseau

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199581498
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722875 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199581498.003.0004

Series: Founders of Modern Political and Social Thought

Reflections on the General Will's Sovereignty

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  • History of Western Philosophy
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This chapter explores more fully Rousseau's conception of the general will, the cornerstone of a free community of equals. It discusses the sense in which the general will is a will; the way(s) in which it is general; the kind of consensus about the common good required in the society of the general will; how majority rule is compatible with the idea that individuals follow ‘their own will’ when they comply with the general will; and whether there are rights in the society of the general will.

Keywords: majority rule; sovereignty; will; consensus; Condorcet; rights; self-legislation; Rousseau; reason; alienation

Chapter.  14717 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy

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