Politics and the Arts: Letter to M. dAlembert on the Theatre by Jean-Jacques RousseauThis excellent translation makes available a classic work central to one of the most interesting controversies of the eighteenth century: the quarrel between Rousseau and Voltaire. Besides containing some of the most sensitive literary criticism ever written (especially of Moli�re), the book is an excellent introduction to the principles of classical political thought. It demonstrates the paradoxes of Rousseaus thought and clearly displays the temperament that led him to repudiate the hopes of the Enlightenment.
An Overview of Rousseau's Discourse on Inequality
An Introduction to the work of Rousseau
Few political philosophers have provoked such varying interpretations as Jean-Jacques Rousseau — The reader who approaches Rousseau for the first time encounters an author apparently fond of great paradoxes, offering what often seem incompatible principles—praising, for instance, Sparta and austere political virtue in one work, and extolling the goodness of the solitary individual and the private enjoyment of the sentiment of existence in another. Indeed, Rousseau has been claimed as the inaugurator of socialism and nationalism on the one hand, and romanticism and existentialism on the other. He was accused early on of inspiring some of the most extreme aspects of the French Revolution and was held up as an authority by Robespierre. Yet, alongside the portrait of Rousseau the republican revolutionary, there are others who have claimed to find in his writings a political teaching of anti-modern reactionary conservatism, replete with hostility to commerce and industrial development, the condemnation of large nation-states, and an opposition to the spread of scientific knowledge generally. What solution or solutions might there be to cure human beings of their present maladies? The politicians of the ancient world spoke constantly of morals and virtue; ours speak of nothing but commerce and money.
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This excellent translation makes available a classic work central to one of the most interesting controversies of the eighteenth century: the quarrel between Rousseau and Voltaire. It demonstrates the paradoxes of Rousseau's thought and clearly displays the temperament that led him to repudiate the hopes of the Enlightenment. Should people of Geneva establish a theatre? What consequences could it have? Is theatre morally bad? And what about actors?
Letter to M. More generally, it is a critical analysis of the effects of culture on morals, that clarifies the links between politics and social life.
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