Rousseau and the Artists of th

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

Downloaded 20 times

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, (1712-1778) was a French social philosopher and writer. His book Du Contrat Social, ou Principes du droit politique (Social Contract) published in 1762, emphasised the rights of the people over the government and was a significant influence on the French Revolution . Rousseau believed that people were not social beings by nature. He stated that ?Society corrupts individuals by bringing out their inclination toward aggression and selfishness? . Fundamental to Rousseau?s beliefs for the utopia of society was for each individual to believe in the same collective way to govern society. He believed that individuals should give up their rights of personal selflessness for the good of society as a whole. His answer therefore was to find a ?form of association which defends and protects with all common forces the person and goods of each associate, and by means of which each one, whilst uniting with all, nevertheless obeys only himself and remains as free as before .

. . .? . When structuring his utopia of the ?General Will? Rousseau believed that ?although the natural man perceived himself as an individual, he must learn to think collectively in order to create a society ?. Therefore to evolve into a humane and agreeable society people should give up their natural rights of appetite and conform to society by consenting to the process of law which has made them free - collectively consenting to the ?general will? - a single correct path for people to follow or the policy which is equal in everyone?s interests.

Rousseau believed that it was wrong for the sovereign power over society to be held by just one man - the King. He believed that the people as a whole should be sovereign (the term Rousseau uses for the body of...