Rousseau’s Conception of Freedom

Mark Philp and Z. A. Pelczynski

in Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199645060
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741616 | DOI:
Rousseau’s Conception of Freedom

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Plamenatz examines a range of different senses in which Rousseau uses the term freedom, drawing from across his works. While there are Hobbesian elements there are also commitments that Hobbes could not accept, such as the view that it consists in not subjecting others to one’s will, that freedom and independence are incompatible (with freedom of the social man, capable of morality, being contrasted with the independence of man in the state of nature), and that the social man must find some way of reconciling freedom with the dependence inevitable in society. Emile and hisSocial Contract offer contrasting accounts of this reconciliation.

Keywords: Rousseau; freedom; independence; self-mastery; society; state of nature; social contract; Emile; self-love; reason; moral freedom; law

Chapter.  8970 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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