Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Swiss-born French philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century who, literally, wrote the book on the Social Contract. He is notable for his influential theory of government and romantic liberalism.


Factoids tagged with "Jean-Jacques Rousseau"

Marie Antoinette Said, “Let them Eat Cake.” Myth

Marie Antoinette never said “let them eat cake”. The idea of royalty suggesting peasants eat cake is an old myth that can be traced to Rousseau’s Confessions, a Spanish Princess, and even a Chinese emperor.

Politics Can be a Science Fact

Politics can be treated as a science (political science), but it must always seek data that can be confirmed by our senses (empirical evidence).

Frankenstein Can be Read as a Political Metaphor Fact

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) can be read as a political metaphor where Dr. Frankenstein and his monster represent the philosophies and attitudes of the liberal revolutionaries, specifically those of the French Revolution and ensuing “Reign of Terror.”

Blog Posts tagged with "Jean-Jacques Rousseau"

Civil Religion

We explain Civil Religion (the national iconography, ritual, and symbolism of a state) by looking at American Civil Religion (like the national anthem, Lady Liberty, and other Americana), at past Civil Religions (like Athena in Athens), and at Rousseau’s original concept of Civic Religion.

Where Does the State of Nature Argument Come From?

We often attribute the origin of the state of nature argument to Hobbes, but it can be traced to thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, and the Sophists in the 300’s BC, and is then mused on by other early philosophers.

What is the General Will?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s concept of the General Will roughly means “that which is in the best interest of the people” or “the public good”, and not just popular consensus.

Types of Governments

We explain the basic classical forms of government and the many types of governments that can be derived from the classical forms.