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Introduction to Political Philosophy - Lecture 20

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Lecture 20 - Democracy and Participation: Rousseau, Social Contract

The concept of "general will" is considered Rousseau's most important contribution to political science. It is presented as the answer to the gravest problems of civilization, namely, the problems of inequality, amour-propre, and general discontent. The social contract is the foundation of the general will and the answer to the problem of natural freedom, because nature itself provides no guidelines for determining who should rule. The lecture ends with Rousseau's legacy and the influence he exercised on later nineteenth-century writers and philosophers.

Prof. Steven B. Smith
PLSC 114 Introduction to Political Philosophy, Fall 2006
(Yale University: Open Yale)
http://oyc.yale.edu
Date accessed: 2008-12-29
License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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