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POLI 365 - Lecture: Rousseau 2 (Feb. 13)

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Political Science
POLI 365
Jason Scott Ferrell

Feb. 13 – Rousseau 2 Is the social contract a good way to think about the formation of political society? − importance of consent − but how do we measure consent? General Will − a social contract establishes a political community, whose moral substance is established by a general will − ambiguous; does seem to refer to some conception of a common good − the will of all consists of a mere conglomeration of private wills; this is not the general will − general will does not aim at individual wills, or lesser social wills that reflect sectional or group interests − it is what remains when “the pluses and minuses of individual wills cancel each other out” − or “the sum of many small differences” − result from some liberation of the community − general will = shared features that define a community, a normative consensus that underlies society − general will also indicates the boundaries of sovereignty − laws are acts from and reflections of the general will, and thus must be
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