Rousseau, the Age of Enlightenment, and Their Legacies

Overview

"These essays—small masterpieces of analysis, exposition, and integration, combining vast learning with an intuitive grasp of what is central in the thought of individual thinkers and epochs—testify to the unifying passion, intellectual versatility, and lasting contributions of both their author, and his subjects. This scrupulously prepared, wide-ranging collection makes invaluable contributions to political theory and cultural and intellectual history. It also presents readers of all backgrounds with an ...

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Rousseau, the Age of Enlightenment, and Their Legacies

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Overview

"These essays—small masterpieces of analysis, exposition, and integration, combining vast learning with an intuitive grasp of what is central in the thought of individual thinkers and epochs—testify to the unifying passion, intellectual versatility, and lasting contributions of both their author, and his subjects. This scrupulously prepared, wide-ranging collection makes invaluable contributions to political theory and cultural and intellectual history. It also presents readers of all backgrounds with an education, and a feast."—Joshua L. Cherniss, Harvard University

"Blending a historian's sensitivity to context with a theorist's instinct for issues of paramount political salience, Robert Wokler's contribution to our understanding of Rousseau and his age was profound. This collection of his essays offers at once an indispensable guide to the Enlightenment and its legacy, as well as a glimpse into the mind and practice of a deeply humane scholar for whom the Enlightenment's ideals remained a living reality."—Ryan Patrick Hanley, Marquette University

"Filled with insight, humor, sensitive readings, and brilliant analyses, this amazing collection of humane and scholarly essays shows just how much we owe to the Enlightenment—and to Robert Wokler."—Janet Coleman, professor emeritus, London School of Economics and Political Science

"Wokler wrote prose that could serve as the vehicle for his formidable erudition, but which was always set out with elegance and a surprising lightness of touch. He could bring to life not only the arguments of his eighteenth-century philosophers, but also those of the twentieth-century commentators with whom he engaged; and his writing was always quietly but thoroughly infused with that unusual variety of political commitment, the kind that contributes to, rather than gets in the way of, excellence in scholarship. Both Wokler's Enlightenment and Wokler himself were cosmopolitan and humanitarian to their core."—from the introduction by Christopher Brooke

"Robert Wokler's essays display the erudition of a man who was one of the finest scholars of his generation and one of the best interpreters of Rousseau and the Enlightenment. Moreover, each of these essays is written with an elegance and clarity that few could rival. Taken together they display a remarkable range."—Jeremy Jennings, Queen Mary, University of London

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] volume, introduced by Christopher Brooke, that all Rousseau students need."—Christopher Bertram, Times Literary Supplement

"[T]his collection of essays is a valuable contribution not only to Rousseau studies and Enlightenment studies alike, but also (and perhaps more importantly) to the ongoing debate on how to do intellectual history and how to address the normative or political use of history by present thinkers."—Brian Kjær Olesen, European Review of History

"[T]his is a welcome collection for those interested in Rousseau and his impact."—Michael Lynn, Historian

"Garsten is to be applauded for collecting in one volume important essays by one of the most eloquent defenders of Rousseau and the Enlightenment in recent times."—Simon Kow, Philosophy in Review

Times Literary Supplement
[A] volume, introduced by Christopher Brooke, that all Rousseau students need.
— Christopher Bertram
Times Literary Supplement - Christopher Bertram
[A] volume, introduced by Christopher Brooke, that all Rousseau students need.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691147895
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/8/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 824,105
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Wokler (1942-2006) was at the time of his death Senior Lecturer in Political Science and in the Directed Studies program at Yale University. He was formerly Reader in the History of Political Thought at the University of Manchester. He was the author of "Rousseau on Society, Politics, Music and Language" and "Rousseau: A Very Short Introduction." He was also the editor or coeditor of many books, including "The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought," "Diderot: Political Writings," "The Enlightenment and Modernity" and "Inventing Human Science."

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Bryan Garsten vii
Introduction: Christopher Brooke ix
Acknowledgements xv
Abbreviations Used in Citations of Rousseau’s Work xvii

Chapter 1. Perfectible Apes in Decadent Cultures: Rousseau’s Anthropology Revisited 1
Chapter 2. Rites of Passage and the Grand Tour: Discovering, Imagining and Inventing European Civilization in the Age of Enlightenment 29
Chapter 3. Rousseau on Rameau and Revolution 46
Chapter 4. Vagabond Reverie 68
Chapter 5. The Enlightenment Hostilities of Voltaire and Rousseau 80
Chapter 6. Rousseau’s Pufendorf: Natural Law and the Foundations of Commercial Society 88
Chapter 7. Rousseau’s Reading of the Book of Genesis and the Theology of Commercial Society 113
Chapter 8. The Manuscript Authority of Political Thoughts 121
Chapter 9. Preparing the Definitive Edition of the Correspondance de Rousseau 136
Chapter 10. Rousseau’s Two Concepts of Liberty 154
Chapter 11. The Enlightenment and the French Revolutionary Birth Pangs of Modernity 185
Chapter 12. Rousseau and Marx 214
Chapter 13. Ernst Cassirer’s Enlightenment: An Exchange with Bruce Mazlish 233
Chapter 14. Isaiah Berlin’s Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment 244
Chapter 15. Projecting the Enlightenment 260

Notes 279
Bibliography of the Published Work of Robert Wokler 363
Index 375

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