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“Society” as the Ethical Starting Point for Political Inquiry

“Society” as the Ethical Starting Point for Political Inquiry

Chapter:
(p.1) Part I “Society” as the Ethical Starting Point for Political Inquiry (p.2)
Source:
Abandoned to Ourselves
Author(s):
Peter Alexander Meyers
Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300172058.003.0001

Part I examines how Rousseau took as his starting point for his quest of political inquiry the notion of “society”. From the 1750s and for the next two centuries, the sense that society was an autonomous force in experience gained traction. There were a number of reasons for this. The topic of human freedom frames many of Rousseau's most important innovations. This part begins by focusing on one of these. It is, the part states, the point from which Rousseau's influence on subsequent social thought most clearly arises.

Keywords:   Rousseau, society, human freedom, social thought

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