A Possible Explanation of Rousseau's General Will

  title={A Possible Explanation of Rousseau's General Will},
  author={Patrick Riley},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={86 - 97}
  • Patrick Riley
  • Published 1 March 1970
  • Philosophy
  • American Political Science Review
A “general will” is a philosophical and psychological contradiction in terms; will is a conception understandable, if at all, only in terms of individual actions. The problem cannot be glossed over by attempting to reduce the general will—as did T. H. Green—to a “common ego,” or to an analogical forerunner of Kant's pure practical reason. Why, then, did Rousseau make so unviable an idea the center of his political theory, and why has that idea continued to receive serious attention? The general… 

On Kant as the Most Adequate of the Social Contract Theorists

consent to anything. But one could not, as a moral being, consent to laws which would violate morality or the political-legal precouditions of it; and this is why Kant insists on political principles

"Persuader Sans Convaincre" : a Rousseauan Approach To the Insoluble Problem of the Social Contract

rT nHE insoluble problem of the Social Contract1 finds its most striking formulation in the familiar matrix of the Prisoners' Dilemma Game (PDG): Reflecting on the multiple symmetrical confrontations

Reconciliation of natural and social: Rethinking Rousseau’s educational theory

Abstract This article intends to re-examine Rousseau’s educational theory in the context of the nature/culture opposition. In contemporary discussions on the nature/culture dualism, it has been often

Can Justice Be Based on Consent

THIS article will discuss a general class of theories that attempt to base a normative account of justice on consent-giving procedures. Contemporary political philosophers offer many different

Introduction To the Reading of Alexandre Kojève

One of the most visible phenomena on the frontier of postwar political philosophy has been a resuscitated &dquo;left Hegelianism,&dquo; and among contemporary left Hegelians none has been so

Hegel, Deleuze/Guattari and Political Immanence: The Sons of Rousseau

Abstract In the article I argue that Hegel and Deleuze/Guattari construct two distinct political paths toward immanence. Both of these paths have as their starting point Rousseau’s bourgeois. I show

G.D.H. Cole on the General Will

In his contribution to socialist thought G.D.H. Cole adopted and revised Rousseau’s concept of the general will. During his early guild socialist phase Cole drew on the general will in his scheme for

Pluralism and the General Will: The Roman and Spartan Models in Rousseau's Social Contract

Abstract How should institutions be designed so that the votes of the people reflect the general will and not the corporate will of the politically powerful? Rousseau's Social Contract provides us

Index to Volume LXIV.

  • M. Grossman
  • History
    American Political Science Review
  • 1970
Abd Al-Rahim, Muddathir. Imperialism and Nationalism in the Sudan: A Study in Constitutional and Political Development 1899-1956. Noted by Richard H. Pfaff 966 Aberbach, Joel D. and Jack L. Walker.

Ethnicity, Class, and the State

Our political interaction approach emphasizes the complexity of the group demands that the African state faces. It assumes a constant engagement of rival interests in the contemporary political



Rousseau's Two Models: Sparta and the Age of Gold

co Jean-Jacques Rousseau was not a professional philosopher. He never pretended that he was. His great claim was that he alone had been "the painter of nature and the historian of the human heart."'

Philosophy of right

Among the most influential parts of the philosophy of G W F Hegel (1770-1831) were his ethics, his theory of the state, and his philosophy of history. "The Philosophy of Right" (1821), the last work