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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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The Sovereign People, the Law, and the Citizen

The Sovereign People, the Law, and the Citizen

(p.243) 16 The Sovereign People, the Law, and the Citizen
Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau

Mark Philp

Z. A. Pelczynski

Oxford University Press

Plamenatz sees Rousseau as combining individualist and collectivist aspects in his thought throughout his life, although the Social Contract is the only work that gives hem equal prominence. He examines how far Rousseau is able to give individual rights against the sovereign, especially given the superior wisdom which he attributes to the people. In comparison with Hobbes, however, Rousseau can be seen to provide important guarantees for individual freedom. More illiberal aspects of Rousseau’s thought are to be found in his work on Poland, and in the last major chapter of the Social Contract.

Keywords:   Rousseau, Hobbes, sovereign, common good, general will, individualism, collectivism, freedom, rights, associations, legislative, executive, religion, toleration

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