Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Lecture 1, Semester 2 (Raw Notes)

* Main creative force was christianity - but had dissapeared
* Vacuum filled by a belief in divinity of nature
* Rousseau - Mountains of Switzerland - Island in Vienna. "Lone walker" - Fascinated with nature, especially mountains
* Intense experience - Listening to waves - All painful memories about the past and anxieties about the future were lost except a sense of well-being. Nature brings inner peace.
* It was a political time bomb - The new cult of sensibility - Romanticism. (Considered to have some rather controversial views)
* During his 'experience', Rousseau felt everything that had been wriitten before was a lie. Rousseau = anti-reasonn. It's all about feeling and nature.

*Rousseau's belief in the beauty and innocence of nature was extended to man.
* He believed that natural man was virtuous - believe in a golden age and a reaction against the corruption of 18th century society
* "No one has used such intelligence to persuade us to be stupid. After reading your book one feels as if one should walk on all fours" - Voltaire
* Tahiti - Describing the paradise in which the primitive people live. People without civilization were beautiful, pure. He essentially says we must become like animals. Innocent, beautiful.

Primitive people - A simple and pleasant life.

Contrasting view - Locke sees civilization, ownership of property is good.


* Reaction against the enlightenment - Believed in suppremacy of emotion
* Rousseau: "Man is born free, but everywhere is in chains"
* Must return to nature, goodness of primitive man - the noble savage
* Civilization has corrupted us - the statue - leaves us alienated
* Trapped in the competition of "self esteem"

Social contract: Rousseau tries for something more utopian.

* "Taking men as they are, and no laws as they might be" - Admits there is no way back to nature.
* The problem: "Find a form of association which defends and protects with all the common force, the person and goods of each associate and by means of which each one while writing with all obeys only himself and remains as free as before. Wants to find government model that will protect us yet give us complete freeedom

Rousseau - You can be free in this new world of Utopia. Plans to do this using:

General Will - Since we all contribute to the shaping of this general will, when we obey its laws we do, he wants to say, bo more than obey ourselves - "For it to be driven by appetite alone is slavery and obedience to the law one has prescribed for oneself is freedom"

* Direct demoracy - No representation.
* Contrast with liberal, public/private sphere
* Rousseai is saying there isn't a public and a private.

Dangers of general will:
* Danger is of a new kind of dictatorship, the tyranny of law - Anyone who refuses to obey the general will be "forced to be free"


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