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The Social Contract
     

The Social Contract

3.9 19
by Jean Jacques Rousseau
 

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"Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains."

These are the famous opening words of a treatise which, from the French Revolutionary Terror to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, has been interpreted as a blueprint for totalitarianism. But in The Social Contract Rousseau (1712-78) was at pains to stress the connection between liberty and law, freedom

Overview

"Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains."

These are the famous opening words of a treatise which, from the French Revolutionary Terror to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, has been interpreted as a blueprint for totalitarianism. But in The Social Contract Rousseau (1712-78) was at pains to stress the connection between liberty and law, freedom and justice. Arguing that the ruler is the people's agent, not its master, he claimed that laws derived from the people's General Wit. Yet in preaching subservience to the impersonal state he came close to defining freedom as the recognition of necessity.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781908388063
Publisher:
Aziloth Books
Publication date:
05/10/2011
Pages:
134
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.29(d)

Meet the Author

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) the French political philosopher and educationalist, is the author of A Discourse on Inequality, and Emile.

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The Social Contract 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
JohnDubberley More than 1 year ago
I had to read this particular book along with a few others that concerned the social contract theory including "Leviathan" by Thomas Hobbes, and work by people such as John Locke and the like. Being a philosophy major, I am constantly reading works that take all of one's will power to follow. Whether the ideas in the books aren't all that straight foward, or the writer just wasn't an interesting writer (most philosophers aren't. We're usually philosophers first and writers second or third). However, when I sat down to read this text, which is small and not daunting in the slightest, I was pleased to find that this book was a very easy read. Not only was it easy to read, it was easy to follow, and the ideas were set in clear and concise order. "The Social Contract" by Rousseau explains the social contract theory in a way different from Hobbes, who said that before government the world was in an anarchy with people doing what they wanted when they wanted. For Hobbes, the social contract saved us. However, Rousseau takes another route. He says that human beings were at peace before the social contract, and that the contract made us slaves. Through it we made the laws, or chains, that bind us, hence the saying: Laws are the chains the bind us. All in all, whether you're an aspiring philosopher, or you're simply into politics, I would reccomend that you read this book.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book my junior year in high school, and it astonished me. I found myself having to read over paragraphs multiple times to merely understand the intense concept of his writing. A must read for anyone with an interest philosophy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Should be required reading in our schools... could lead to informed citizens who think for themselves.