According to Rousseau, the best possible relationship between unequals is one of "benificence." This book addresses the problem implicit in his writings of whether it is indeed possible for a just and generous relationship to exist between non-equals. Judith Still draws together issues in Rousseau's work that are often treated in isolation: the state, just relations between individuals, sexual politics and the constructing of a feminine identity. Using techniques of reading drawn from literary theory, she argues that for Rousseau, it is sexual difference that disturbs the practice of benificence.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; A preliminary note on vocabulary and conventions; Introduction; 1. The problem: the intersection of beneficence and pudicity; 2. The code of beneficence; 3. The practice of beneficence and model benefactors in the major works; 4. The passion of pity in Rousseau's theory of man; 5. Gyges' ring: A reading of Rousseau's 6e Promenade; 6. Pudicity in some of Rousseau's minor writings: its relationship to beneficence; Conclusion; Appendix. Generosity and pudicity in Gyges und sein Ring and Le Roi Candaule; Notes; Bibliography; Index.