The Sovereign People, the Law, and the Citizen

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:
The Sovereign People, the Law, and the Citizen

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Plamenatz sees Rousseau as combining individualist and collectivist aspects in his thought throughout his life, although the Social Contract is the only work that gives hem equal prominence. He examines how far Rousseau is able to give individual rights against the sovereign, especially given the superior wisdom which he attributes to the people. In comparison with Hobbes, however, Rousseau can be seen to provide important guarantees for individual freedom. More illiberal aspects of Rousseau’s thought are to be found in his work on Poland, and in the last major chapter of the Social Contract.

Keywords: Rousseau; Hobbes; sovereign; common good; general will; individualism; collectivism; freedom; rights; associations; legislative; executive; religion; toleration

Chapter.  10742 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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