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Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau$
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John Plamenatz, Mark Philp, and Zbigniew Pelczynski

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199645060

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645060.001.0001

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Reason, Freedom, and Justice

Reason, Freedom, and Justice

(p.222) 15 Reason, Freedom, and Justice
Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau

Mark Philp

Z. A. Pelczynski

Oxford University Press

Plamenatz distinguishes between the freedom secured in the Social Contract (freedom in a just society) and Emile (the freedom of the just man in the unjust society) and inquires whether a just man in an unjust society can really be free. Rousseau suggestion that only just principles can be rational and stable is examined, alongside the idea that morality is rational. Much that Rousseau says seems to root morality in feeling, rather than reason, but he also has a conception of an ordered life, lived in accord with coherent and realistic principles and pursuing coherent aims in conditions of equality, and that view, particularly the concern with equality, is more contentious. So too is the suggestion that the rich are more than ordinarily subject to vanity and are thus necessarily unfree.

Keywords:   Rousseau, reason, freedom, justice, morality, order, natural law, amour de soi, pity, inequality, order, vanity, dependence

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