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Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  • Frederick NeuhouserEmail author
Living reference work entry
  • 147 Downloads
Part of the Springer Reference Geisteswissenschaften book series (SPREFGEIST)

Abstract

This paper reconstructs Rousseau’s claims that the drive for recognition (amour propre) is the principal source of the evils that beset human societies as well as the precondition of what is most valuable in human life, including love, reason, and the striving for excellence. The danger of amour-propre is shown to lie in its relative character: in the fact that it seeks comparative standing in the opinions of other subjects. Because the drive for recognition is highly malleable, it can also be harnessed to form citizens who are capable of willing the general will in a just republic.

Keywords

Rousseau Amour propre Recognition Discourse on the Origin of Inequality general will 

References

  1. Carnevali, Barbara. 2011. Romantisme et reconnaissance. Figures de la conscience chez Rousseau. Geneva: Droz.Google Scholar
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  4. Honneth, Axel. 2012. Untiefen der Anerkennung. Das sozialphilosophische Erbe Jean-Jacques Rousseaus. WestEnd. Neue Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung 9(1/2): 47–64 [In English as: “The depths of recognition: The legacy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau," in Lifschitz, Avi (ed.), Engaging with Rousseau. Reaction and interpretation from the eighteenth century to the present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp. 189–206].Google Scholar
  5. Neuhouser, Frederick. 2008. Rousseau’s theodicy of self-love: Evil, rationality, and the drive for recognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press [In German as: Pathologien der Selbstliebe (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2012)].CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Barnard College (Columbia University)New YorkUSA

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