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[Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the eighteenth-century political philosopher, essayist, novelist, playwright, and autobiographer, has become (in)famous for his relentlessly gendered political thought. At least, this has been the reigning consensus among his feminist readers. 1 This interpretation...
[In 1755 Rousseau published the Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Men (the Second Discourse), five years after his prize-winning essay, Discourse on the Sciences and Arts (the First Discourse). The First Discourse was Rousseau’s reply to the Academy of Dijon’s question,...
[Four years after the “Dedication,” Rousseau again turns his attention toward Geneva. However, this time Rousseau’s focus is the arts rather than politics. In 1757 an article written by Jean le Rond d’Alembert on the Republic of Geneva appeared in the seventh edition of the Encyclopedia. In his...
[It might seem, at first, a bit peculiar to regard the ménage à trois in Rousseau’s writings as an allegory for democracy, or at least as the possibility for reconfiguring sexual relations and as a consequence democratic relations. Of course, there has been no shortage of critics who have...
[Rousseau was famously a prodigious autobiographer. Beginning in 1762 with the Letters to Malesherbes and ending with his death in 1778, Rousseau dedicates much of his time to “giving an account of himself.”1 Within this period, Rousseau writes no less than three autobiographies: the expansive,...
[Rousseau has elicited a great deal of feminist commentary— undoubtedly because women and sexuality are so central to his writings. Although there have been some disagreements among feminist thinkers concerning various aspects of his thought, there has been much more consensus. Rousseau is...
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