A Possible Explanation of Rousseau's General Will

@article{Riley1970APE,
  title={A Possible Explanation of Rousseau's General Will},
  author={Patrick Riley},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  year={1970},
  volume={64},
  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… 

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