wrong.” 3 For certain eighteenth-century authors who could be described as early Romantics, suicide was not merely ethically legitimate; it was positively alluring. Rousseau and Goethe made suicide central in their novels. The characters of Saint
The Transformation of Suicide in Western Thought
Entangled Encounters of Europe and Islam in the Age of Enlightenment
The relationship of the European Enlightenment to Islam has usually been analyzed by collating “attitudes” toward a religion conceived as constitutively non-European. Enlightenment thinkers made use of Islam and other major revealed religions to relativize and to mock the claims of the Christian church. However, the notion of Islam as irredeemably “other” to Europe is a modern projection. Many eighteenth-century people passed back and forth between Europe and lands dominated by Islam, changing their identity, language, or religion, seeking refuge or a reversal of fortunes. One such figure was Jean-Jacques Rousseau's father, Isaac. Rousseau was marked in multiple ways by the mobility between Europe and the Muslim world, and by the new ideas these crossings engendered. This study of Rousseau's treatment of Islam and the Islamic world in his life and work proposes another model for thinking about Europe and Islam in the Age of Enlightenment.
The main ideas of Rousseau relevant to social quality are reviewed here with reference to many of his books and essays. A central theme in Rousseau's work is connected to the evils of inequality where the poor endure their servitude in the name of an illusory common good. The social problem of inequality relates to the political problem of freedom. The social contract requires that the gap between rich and poor be as small as possible; that there is aristocratic government; and that 'the general will' combines the requirement for community with respect for individuality. The article finishes with a discussion of spatial aspects of Rousseau's work relevant to social quality, including the notion of the garden city.
Virtuous Citizenship and Popular Sovereignty
What is virtuous citizenship? Is it possible to be a virtuous citizen whatever the form of one's state? Is it possible to be a virtuous citizen in the new South Africa? In this article I defend some Republican ideas on civic virtue and popular sovereignty, especially as found in the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, to suggest that popular sovereignty is a necessary condition for active and virtuous citizenship. For it is only under conditions of popular sovereignty that the right kind of political agency is possible. I discuss these ideas in the context of modern constitutional democracies, and argue that constitutional democracy in South Africa is not an instance of popular sovereignty and thus does not provide the possibility for virtuous citizenship. I end the article with a proposal for addressing these deficiencies: effective citizen control over the constitution by means of a decennial plebiscite—a carnival of citizenship.
In a witty entry written in 1987 for a hypothetical dictionary to be published at the dawn of the new millennium, Bernard Henri-Lévy proposed the following definition of the intellectual: “Noun, masculine gender, a social and cultural category born in Paris at the moment of the Dreyfus Affair, died in Paris at the end of the twentieth century; apparently was not able to survive the decline in belief in Universals” (506). Twenty-five years later, intellectuals continue to exist on both banks of the Seine but their current prestige no longer matches the one they once enjoyed in the City of Light. Over the course of the last three centuries, intellectuals in France have occupied a prominent position in politics and society, and their voices have extended beyond the ivory tower of academia. More so than any other country in the world (with the possible exception of Russia), France demonstrates the extent to which people’s daily life can be influenced directly by intricate and abstruse works of literature, sociology, and philosophy. This constitutes the subject of Jeremy Jennings’s new book, Revolution and the Republic, a history of modern French political thought since the eighteenth century.
Abbé Rousseau and the Meanings of Suicide
public insisted on talking, guessing, and judging. 2 The latter had no sympathy for profligates and criminals who took their own lives but much empathy for virtuous characters like the lovestruck abbé Rousseau, who shot himself in 1784. We can follow his
The Emotional Education of Boys in Mexico during the Early Porfiriato, 1876–1884
Carlos Zúñiga Nieto
-rearing combined various pedagogical approaches and differed across urban and rural dimensions. While educators promoted Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s and Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi’s “sentimental notions of boyhood” in rural Yucatán, in Mexico City, pedagogues advocated
Carl Schmitt and Jean-Jacques Rousseau on a Key Question in Democratic Theory
homogeneous “identity” in the sense of “identicalness” is the work of Carl Schmitt ( Mehring 2009 ; Voigt 2011 ). One step on the way toward Schmitt’s complete conceptual radicalization is represented by Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s antiliberal break with the
Rousseau, Constant, and the Debates about a National Religion
Recent scholarship has uncovered laïcité's Protestant sources by focusing attention on its late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century advocates. This article argues that the intellectual sources of laïcité stretch further back than this, namely to the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) and Benjamin Constant (1767-1830). These two thinkers are rarely seen as allies. However, an examination of their views on religion reveals a surprising complicity, attributable in large part to their liberal Protestant sympathies. Benjamin Constant was well placed to understand and appreciate Rousseau's "Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar" and his chapter "On Civil Religion" in the Social Contract. Moreover, Constant had observed firsthand the distortion of Rousseau's views by the French revolutionaries. This essay shows that Constant's writings on religion were those of a disciple of Rousseau, who wished to clarify and disseminate ideas that would prove foundational for the modern notion of laïcité.
The German journal London und Paris called James Gillray 'the foremost living artist in his genre, not only amongst Englishmen, but amongst all European nations'. Despite the scholarly attention he has attracted, many of Gillray's individual works have yet to receive rigorous analysis. One such neglected print is National Conveniences (1796), assumed to be a crude, straightforward expression of national supremacy. However, a closer reading shows Gillray employing the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau both to undermine notions of English superiority and to assail a particular personal adversary. With this reading in mind, we can reassess references to Rousseau in Gillray's other prints, and propose a new direction from which to approach his greater oeuvre.