PDF Rousseaus Theodicy of Self-Love: Evil, Rationality, and the Drive for Recognition

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That being said, Explaining the Brain still does a great job in reconstructing the features of good explanations in neuroscience. Craver is especially innovative and convincing on matters of causal relevance and interlevel integrations, which are central to neuroscience, but also to biological and social sciences. The book is thus not only relevant and challenging for those interested in explaining the brain, but more generally for those trying to explain complex phenomena in terms of constitutive mechanisms.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Woodward, J. New York: Oxford University Press. Oxford: Oxford University Press, , pp. To his credit, Neuhouser does not assume such a narrow view. Instead, by taking up and refining arguments made by commentators such as Nicholas Dent, Joshua Cohen, and r Blackwell Publishing Ltd. That Rousseau has a theodicy at all may come as a surprise to even his most attentive readers, given that Rousseau is not an explicit theologian the closest approximation coming in the voice of the Savoyard Vicar in Emile. But where a theodicy implies the justification of divine goodness despite the persistence of this-worldly evil, Neuhouser— operating within a tradition of Rousseau scholarship that can be traced as far back as Immanuel Kant pp.

Accordingly, it is in amour-propre, understood fundamentally by Neuhouser as a drive for recognition, that Rousseau finds the cause of our human ills, as well as the secular source of our salvation. Neuhouser invokes this r Blackwell Publishing Ltd. In the case of Rousseau, however, r Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Reviews Neuhouser finds a tension between the internal and external sources of rational motivation illustrated by Emile on the one hand and the Roman citizen on the other.

Neuhouser, I think, is right to pay special attention to this crucial qualification, which has not been stressed enough in the existing literature. In other words, resolving the antinomy means recognizing the fundamentally intersubjective character of the standpoint of reason. It is thoroughly engaged with the contemporary literature, and deserves to be included in the canon of recommended Rousseau scholarship.

It will likewise be r Blackwell Publishing Ltd. I will therefore offer some remarks to that end, and then pose a few questions. This in itself is not problematic. Shows typical wear. Quick shipping. Satisfaction guaranteed! Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.

Evil, Rationality, and the Drive for Recognition

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Get the item you ordered or get your money back. Learn more - opens in new window or tab. Seller information rockymtntext Contact seller. Visit store. See other items More See all. Item Information Condition:. Sign in to check out Check out as guest. Freedom, in this context, is simply the ability not to be governed solely by appetite; perfectibility is the capacity to learn and thereby to find new and better means to satisfy needs. Together, these characteristics give humans the potential to achieve self-consciousness, rationality, and morality. Nevertheless, it will turn out that such characteristics are more likely to condemn them to a social world of deception, dissimulation, dependence, oppression, and domination.

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As human populations grow, simple but unstable forms of co-operation evolve around activities like hunting. According to Rousseau, the central transitional moment in human history occurs at a stage of society marked by small settled communities. At this point a change, or rather a split, takes place in the natural drive humans have to care for themselves: competition among humans to attract sexual partners leads them to consider their own attractiveness to others and how that attractiveness compares to that of potential rivals.

In Emile , where Rousseau is concerned with the psychological development of an individual in a modern society, he also associates the genesis of amour propre with sexual competition and the moment, puberty, when the male adolescent starts to think of himself as a sexual being with rivals for the favours of girls and women. Amour propre makes a central interest of each human being the need to be recognized by others as having value and to be treated with respect. The presentation of amour propre in the Second Discourse —and especially in his note XV to that work—often suggests that Rousseau sees it as a wholly negative passion and the source of all evil.

Interpretations of amour propre centered on the Second Discourse which, historically, are the most common ones for example Charvet , often focus on the fact that the need for recognition always has a comparative aspect, so that individuals are not content merely that others acknowledge their value, but also seek to be esteemed as superior to them. This aspect of our nature then creates conflict as people try to exact this recognition from others or react with anger and resentment when it is denied to them. More recent readings of both the Second Discourse , and especially of Emile , have indicated that a more nuanced view is possible Den , Neuhouser This project of containing and harnessing amour propre finds expression in both The Social Contract and Emile.

In some works, such as the Second Discourse , Rousseau presents amour propre as a passion that is quite distinct from amour de soi.


In others, including Emile , he presents it as a form that amour de soi takes in a social environment. The latter is consistent with his view in Emile that all the passions are outgrowths or developments of amour de soi. Although amour propre has its origins in sexual competition and comparison within small societies, it does not achieve its full toxicity until it is combined with a growth in material interdependence among human beings. In the Discourse on Inequality , Rousseau traces the growth of agriculture and metallurgy and the first establishment of private property, together with the emergence of inequality between those who own land and those who do not.

In an unequal society, human beings who need both the social good of recognition and such material goods as food, warmth, etc. Subordinates need superiors in order to have access to the means of life; superiors need subordinates to work for them and also to give them the recognition they crave. In such a structure there is a clear incentive for people to misrepresent their true beliefs and desires in order to attain their ends.

Thus, even those who receive the apparent love and adulation of their inferiors cannot thereby find satisfaction for their amour propre. Once people have achieved consciousness of themselves as social beings, morality also becomes possible and this relies on the further faculty of conscience. It is, to that extent, akin to a moral sentiment such as Humean sympathy.

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But as something that is merely instinctual it lacks, for Rousseau, a genuinely moral quality. Genuine morality, on the other hand, consists in the application of reason to human affairs and conduct. This requires the mental faculty that is the source of genuinely moral motivation, namely conscience. Conscience impels us to the love of justice and morality in a quasi-aesthetic manner.

altiomana.ga However, in a world dominated by inflamed amour propre , the normal pattern is not for a morality of reason to supplement or supplant our natural proto-moral sympathies. For recent discussion of Rousseau on conscience and reason, see Neidleman, , ch. So, for example, theatre audiences derive enjoyment from the eliciting of their natural compassion by a tragic scene on the stage; then, convinced of their natural goodness, they are freed to act viciously outside the theater.

Philosophy, too, can serve as a resource for self-deception. However, many of his other works, both major and minor, contain passages that amplify or illuminate the political ideas in those works. This idea finds its most detailed treatment in The Social Contract. In The Social Contract , Rousseau sets out to answer what he takes to be the fundamental question of politics, the reconciliation of the freedom of the individual with the authority of the state.

This reconciliation is necessary because human society has evolved to a point where individuals can no longer supply their needs through their own unaided efforts, but rather must depend on the co-operation of others. The process whereby human needs expand and interdependence deepens is set out in the Discourse on the Origins of Inequality. In the Second Discourse , this establishment amounts to the reinforcement of unequal and exploitative social relations that are now backed by law and state power.

In an echo of Locke and an anticipation of Marx, Rousseau argues that this state would, in effect, be a class state, guided by the common interest of the rich and propertied and imposing unfreedom and subordination on the poor and weak. The propertyless consent to such an establishment because their immediate fear of a Hobbesian state of war leads them to fail to attend to the ways in which the new state will systematically disadvantage them. The Social Contract aims to set out an alternative to this dystopia, an alternative in which, Rousseau claims, each person will enjoy the protection of the common force whilst remaining as free as they were in the state of nature.

The key to this reconciliation is the idea of the general will: that is, the collective will of the citizen body taken as a whole. The general will is the source of law and is willed by each and every citizen.