Discours sur l'économie politique

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Vrin, 2002 - Philosophy - 224 pages
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Dans le Discours sur l'economie politique, Rousseau forme deux elements essentiels de sa pensee politique: la notion de la volonte generale et la distinction entre souverainete et gouvernement. Pourtant, la place centrale qui revient a cette oeuvre ne lui a pas ete reconnue. D'abord publiee (en 1755) comme article de l'Encyclopedie, elle a longtemps ete consideree comme marquee par l'influence de Diderot. Son objet, l'economie, semblait etranger aux preoccupations essentielles de Rousseau. Cette nouvelle edition, appuyee sur le brouillon manuscrit, eclaire la genese du texte. Le commentaire propose cherche a degager l'unite et la specificite de l'oeuvre: il analyse le processus d'invention de la volonte generale et l'emergence des problemes decisifs lies a cette notion; il restitue son sens a l'economie politique dans la pensee de Rousseau; il situe son intervention, centrale parce que singuliere, dans les debats de son temps. C'est sans doute ce qui fait aussi son interet present: parce que l'administration des choses, a ses yeux, doit dependre de celle des hommes, Rousseau lie les questions du patriotisme, de l'education publique a celles de la propriete et de l'impot. Il affirme clairement que l'economie doit etre pensee sous la politique parce que l'egalite est la condition de la liberte.
 

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Contents

Introduction par Bruno Bernardi
7
Discours sur léconomie politique
37
Avertissement
85
Linvention de la volonté générale B Bernardi
103
entre peuple et gouvernement G Radica
121
1 Le patriotisme G Lepan
137
2 Léducation publique G Waterlot
155
Droit de propriété et domaine public I Bouvignies
173
Théorie de limpôt C Spector
195
Bibliographie
223
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Jean Jacques Rousseau was a Swiss philosopher and political theorist who lived much of his life in France. Many reference books describe him as French, but he generally added "Citizen of Geneva" whenever he signed his name. He presented his theory of education in Emile (1762), a novel, the first book to link the educational process to a scientific understanding of children; Rousseau is thus regarded as the precursor, if not the founder, of child psychology. "The greatest good is not authority, but liberty," he wrote, and in The Social Contract (1762) Rousseau moved from a study of the individual to an analysis of the relationship of the individual to the state: "The art of politics consists of making each citizen extremely dependent upon the polis in order to free him from dependence upon other citizens." This doctrine of sovereignty, the absolute supremacy of the state over its members, has led many to accuse Rousseau of opening the doors to despotism, collectivism, and totalitarianism. Others say that this is the opposite of Rousseau's intent, that the surrender of rights is only apparent, and that in the end individuals retain the rights that they appear to have given up. In effect, these Rousseau supporters say, the social contract is designed to secure or to restore to individuals in the state of civilization the equivalent of the rights they enjoyed in the state of nature. Rousseau was a passionate man who lived in passionate times, and he still stirs passion in those who write about him today.

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