Rousseau's Platonic Enlightenment

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9780271029986: Rousseau's Platonic Enlightenment

Although many commentators on Rousseau’s philosophy have noted its affinities with Platonism and acknowledged the debt that Rousseau himself expressed to Plato on numerous occasions, David Williams is the first to offer a thoroughgoing, systematic examination of this linkage. His contributions to the scholarship on Rousseau in this book are threefold: he enters the debate over whether Rousseau is a Hobbesian (in rejecting transcendent norms) or a Platonist (in accepting them) with a decisive argument supporting the latter position; he tackles from a new angle the ever-challenging question of unity in Rousseau’s thought; and he explores the dynamic metaphor of the chain throughout Rousseau’s writings as a key to understanding them as inspired by Platonism.

The book is organized into three main parts. The first sketches the background of Platonism and materialist positivism in modern European metaphysics and political philosophy that provided the context for Rousseau’s intellectual development. The second examines Rousseau’s choice of Platonism over positivism and its consequences for his philosophy generally. The third addresses the legacy of Rousseau’s thought and its appropriation by Kant, Marx, and Foucault, suggesting that in an age where materialism and relativism are rife, Rousseau may have much to teach us about how we view our own society and can engage in constructive critique of it.

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"David Williams has now brilliantly undertaken the first serious study of Rousseau's Hellenophilia in seven decades. . . . Williams's book will immediately become the `standard' one, and will join the company of Shklar, Hendel, Starobinski, and Cassirer as a work that responsible Rousseau students need to know." --from the Foreword by Patrick Riley, Oakeshott Professor of Political Science & Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Scholars have often remarked on the fact that Rousseau, a distinctively modern thinker, was a partisan of ancient political practice. But perhaps Rousseau's philosophy isn't as modern, or as simply modern, as one has supposed. David Lay Williams offers a carefully researched and well-argued case for Rousseau as a latter-day Platonist. Readers who care about Rousseau and his role in the unfolding of modernity will want to read this book." --Laurence D. Cooper, Carleton College

"Rousseau is too often thought to have waved his hands at what successors like Kant and Freud would really grasp. Williams is to be congratulated for following Rousseau's own lead to Plato, his greatest predecessor. Surprisingly, his Platonic Rousseau, though rooted in the past, proves a greater original and more important guide to our own time than the Rousseaus who gesture toward the future." --Jonathan Marks, Ursinus College

About the Author:

David Lay Williams is Associate Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point.

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Book Description Pennsylvania State University Press, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Although many commentators on Rousseau s philosophy have noted its affinities with Platonism and acknowledged the debt that Rousseau himself expressed to Plato on numerous occasions, David Williams is the first to offer a thoroughgoing, systematic examination of this linkage. His contributions to the scholarship on Rousseau in this book are threefold: he enters the debate over whether Rousseau is a Hobbesian (in rejecting transcendent norms) or a Platonist (in accepting them) with a decisive argument supporting the latter position; he tackles from a new angle the ever-challenging question of unity in Rousseau s thought; and he explores the dynamic metaphor of the chain throughout Rousseau s writings as a key to understanding them as inspired by Platonism. The book is organized into three main parts. The first sketches the background of Platonism and materialist positivism in modern European metaphysics and political philosophy that provided the context for Rousseau s intellectual development. The second examines Rousseau s choice of Platonism over positivism and its consequences for his philosophy generally. The third addresses the legacy of Rousseau s thought and its appropriation by Kant, Marx, and Foucault, suggesting that in an age where materialism and relativism are rife, Rousseau may have much to teach us about how we view our own society and can engage in constructive critique of it. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780271029986

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Book Description Pennsylvania State University Press, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Although many commentators on Rousseau s philosophy have noted its affinities with Platonism and acknowledged the debt that Rousseau himself expressed to Plato on numerous occasions, David Williams is the first to offer a thoroughgoing, systematic examination of this linkage. His contributions to the scholarship on Rousseau in this book are threefold: he enters the debate over whether Rousseau is a Hobbesian (in rejecting transcendent norms) or a Platonist (in accepting them) with a decisive argument supporting the latter position; he tackles from a new angle the ever-challenging question of unity in Rousseau s thought; and he explores the dynamic metaphor of the chain throughout Rousseau s writings as a key to understanding them as inspired by Platonism. The book is organized into three main parts. The first sketches the background of Platonism and materialist positivism in modern European metaphysics and political philosophy that provided the context for Rousseau s intellectual development. The second examines Rousseau s choice of Platonism over positivism and its consequences for his philosophy generally. The third addresses the legacy of Rousseau s thought and its appropriation by Kant, Marx, and Foucault, suggesting that in an age where materialism and relativism are rife, Rousseau may have much to teach us about how we view our own society and can engage in constructive critique of it. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780271029986

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Book Description Penn State University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 344 pages. Dimensions: 8.8in. x 6.1in. x 0.8in.Although many commentators on Rousseaus philosophy have noted its affinities with Platonism and acknowledged the debt that Rousseau himself expressed to Plato on numerous occasions, David Williams is the first to offer a thoroughgoing, systematic examination of this linkage. His contributions to the scholarship on Rousseau in this book are threefold: he enters the debate over whether Rousseau is a Hobbesian (in rejecting transcendent norms) or a Platonist (in accepting them) with a decisive argument supporting the latter position; he tackles from a new angle the ever-challenging question of unity in Rousseaus thought; and he explores the dynamic metaphor of the chain throughout Rousseaus writings as a key to understanding them as inspired by Platonism. The book is organized into three main parts. The first sketches the background of Platonism and materialist positivism in modern European metaphysics and political philosophy that provided the context for Rousseaus intellectual development. The second examines Rousseaus choice of Platonism over positivism and its consequences for his philosophy generally. The third addresses the legacy of Rousseaus thought and its appropriation by Kant, Marx, and Foucault, suggesting that in an age where materialism and relativism are rife, Rousseau may have much to teach us about how we view our own society and can engage in constructive critique of it. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780271029986

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