The Damned Neighbors Problem: Rousseau’s Civil Religion Revisited

We can find important elements of Rousseau’s approach still alive and well in American politics and culture today. Abstract Near the conclusion of The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau starkly proclaims that no state has been founded without a religious basis, and thus if he is right, every political community must grapple with the tension between[…]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Social Contract Tradition

Rousseau is both one of the greatest advocates and most profound critics of the social contract tradition. By Nicola-Ann Hardwick “Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains” (Rousseau, 20072: 28). This conspicuous paradox between liberty and human oppression is reflected in Rousseau’s entire politico-moral philosophy and so it is no surprise that[…]