The General will Before Rousseau

  title={The General will Before Rousseau},
  author={Patrick Riley},
  journal={Political Theory},
  pages={485 - 516}
  • Patrick Riley
  • Published 1 November 1978
  • Psychology, Philosophy
  • Political Theory
will” (volontk gkltkrale)~ is central in Rousseau’s political and moral philosophy; Rousseau himself says that “the general will is always right,”2 that it is “the will that one has as a citizen”3-when one thinks of the common good and not of one’s own “particular will” ( V O ~ O F Z I ~ partictrlie‘re) as a “private person.” Even virtue, he says, is nothing but a “conforming” of one’s personal volontt particuliere to the public volontt gtntrale-a conforming which “leads us out of ourselves,”4… 

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Intprovenient of the Understanding. in The Philosophy of Spinoza, 155. Stephen Ellenburg, Rousseau's Political Philosophy: A n Interpretation from 156

    Action de Dieu siir les Cr6atures. (Paris. 1713), p. 70. 83. Ibid

    • 84. Ibid

    to be sure, goes well beyond Rousseau in calling the self "hateful"; cf. PensPes

    • Oeuvres de Blaise Pascal

    Doutes sur le Sysrhme Physique des Causes Occnrionnelles

    • Oeuvres ConiplPtes

    The Bibliothtque d'IIonfleur, Calvados, France, ws good enough to supply the author with a photocopy of the original hlS of this work-which contains important passages deleted in the

    • Oeuvres de hfalebranche

    his head and discover all the evils which happen in the world, and let him justify Providence, on the supposiGon that God acts and must act through volontCs particuliires

    • Actually Malebranche first used the notions of volonti gCnCrale and particuliere in the sixteenth "Eclaircissement" which he wrote for the third edition (1678) of De la Recherche de la VPritP

    Judith N. Shklar, Men and Citizens: A Study of Rousseauk Social Theory 122. On this cf. particularly Rousseau's Gouvernenient de Pologne, chs. I-IV

    • Politicof IVritings

    Droit Naturel

      Since no man has natural authority over his fellow-man . . . conventions alone remain as the basis of all legitimate authority among men

      • Du Conrrar Social

      To those therefore whose power is irresistible, the dominion of all men adhereth naturally by their excellence or power

      • 1957