Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Christopher Brooke

in Philosophic Pride

Published by Princeton University Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780691152080
Published online October 2017 | e-ISBN: 9781400842414
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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This chapter tracks the changing fortunes of a fundamental opposition between more Stoic and more Augustinian perspectives on human life, showing that as the seventeenth century gave way to the eighteenth, the patterns of Augustinian anti-Stoicism had often found expression in a more secular, Epicurean register. What Jean-Jacques Rousseau attempts, more strenuously than any other thinker of the period, is an extraordinary synthesis of Epicurean, Augustinian, and Stoic argumentative currents. In common with the modern Epicureans, Rousseau uses claims about self-love to illuminate all areas of human behaviour in modern times. But by presenting that self-love as inflamed amour-propre, Rousseau tilts sharply towards the more critical Augustinians than towards those Epicurean writers who were making their apology for commercial society.

Keywords: Jean-Jacques Rousseau; Augustinianism; Stoicism; Epicureanism; self-love; amour-propre; self-liking; Second Discourse; Emile

Chapter.  10230 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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