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Rousseau and Hobbes – Nature, Free Will, and the Passions - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Rousseau and Hobbes: Nature, Free Will, and the Passions

Robin Douglass


This book provides the most extensive analysis to date of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s engagement with the political thought of Thomas Hobbes. This involves tracing Hobbes’s French reception in the first half of the eighteenth century to elucidate the context in which Rousseau responded to Hobbesian ideas and arguments. When situated in this context, many of the difficulties in understanding Rousseau’s critique of Hobbes are overcome, and its deeply polemical character is revealed. In particular, the book shows how Rousseau sought to reveal that much modern natural law and doux commerce theory was, ... More

Keywords: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, free will, nature, passions, amour-propre, natural goodness, freedom, commerce

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780198724964
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724964.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robin Douglass, author
King's College London