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Rousseau, the Age of Enlightenment, and Their Legacies$
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Robert Wokler and Bryan Garsten

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147888

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147888.001.0001

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Rousseau’s Pufendorf: Natural Law and the Foundations of Commercial Society

Rousseau’s Pufendorf: Natural Law and the Foundations of Commercial Society

Chapter:
(p.88) Chapter 6 Rousseau’s Pufendorf: Natural Law and the Foundations of Commercial Society
Source:
Rousseau, the Age of Enlightenment, and Their Legacies
Author(s):

Robert Wokler

, Bryan Garsten

Christopher Brooke

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691147888.003.0006

This chapter analyzes Rousseau's conception of the political dimension of liberty in the light of a particular debate which has formed the most important contribution to the study of Rousseau's political thought in the twentieth century. This debate has to do with the place of natural law in Rousseau's philosophy, and with the extent to which, in his idea of the foundations of the state, he upheld or rejected principles of jurisprudence espoused by earlier thinkers. It considers such principles in three rather different forms, which are termed superior, anterior, and generative natural law. It also comments on Rousseau's idea of representation in the light of arguments drawn from a number of jurisprudential thinkers before him. In the course of the discussion, the chapter aims to offer a new interpretation of Rousseau's assessment of Pufendorf, whom Rousseau came to confront in his writings as much as, if not more than, any other political thinker.

Keywords:   liberaty, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, natural law, jurisprudence, Pufendorf

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