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Lecture 27

SOAN 2111 Lecture Notes - Lecture 27: Bourgeoisie, Jury Trial, 1812 Overture


Department
Sociology and Anthropology
Course Code
SOAN 2111
Professor
Linda Hunter
Lecture
27

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FRENCH ENLIGHTENEMENT, FRENCH REVOLUTION,
and SOCIOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS (hope, sympathy for the oppressed, faith)
I Human Rights and the French Enlightenment
II Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) – briefly; more next semester in relation to Marx
III Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat (Marquis) de Condorcet (1743-1794)
IV French Revolution – Overview and Sociological Implications (1787-1799)
V The French Revolution: The Art of Politics (music, art, culture, romantic movement)
I Human Rights and the French Enlightenment
the “natural rights” of the citizen- fought for citizen’s rights, the freedom of the oppressed,
morals, politics, fought for the rights of freedom of thought, “natural rights” you’re entitled to
simply by being born
fought for the absolution of slavery and a more humane treatment of criminals
women were extremely active in the fight against the old regime- social conditions for women
(marriage/divorce laws)
II Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) - french philosopher and critical theorist
feeling rather than reason- eg: women should marry someone they love not someone they’re
assigned to. Feeling is just as important as reason and that we need to embrace our feelings. He
felt the current way of life we not true to our value (man was born free, but everywhere he is in
chains), does not fight for education for girls, he said to develop a child without destroying his
“natural state”
Discourse on the Arts and Sciences (1750)
Discourse in Inequality (1755)
The Social Contract (1762)- The beginning of self awareness. He claims to be honest there can
be some rules and a better form of government, the general will-to do what’s in the majority
interest
Emile (1762)
Confessions (1782)
“man is born free and everywhere he is in chains”
Rousseau’s social contract
human nature good / society makes people corrupt- Feeling and emotion were very important to
him. Emotion and imagination were central to his ideas. Problems in the world come up by
denying our emotions. Didn’t believe reason was the solution to our problems. The king is the
only one who is “free”
Noble savages- modern man is cut off from himself.
Inventing Virtue and Vice
Marx and Rousseau – more next semester
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Marx focused on the economic problems of the lower class and Rousseau is mainly concerned
about emotional problems
Marx recommends collective, group action to overcome the social control of the wealthy.
Rousseau, in contrast, said more attention should be paid to the education of the individual
‘the general will’
Rousseau a direct forerunner of Durkheim’s “collective conscience”... concept of culture in
structural functionalism. * Rousseau doesn’t share ideas on empiricism. “Reason is subordinate
to Revolution”-Rousseau. People prior to Marx want Reform not Revolution
** The children of aristocratic women saw little of the parents in the first five years of their life.
These women viewed children as a burden. The French Revolution supports the politics of good
motherhood. The education of women was designed to form mothers (just raising kids). Men
inducted the family business, finance, political affairs, guided the family’s moral and religious
values. Rousseau advocated for the maternal breastfeeding for women. He maintained that
women should be educated differently b/c of differences in the sexes, the mothers role in raising
the child is fundamental b/c mothers are the authors of “nature”. We are imprisoned by our
institutions and in infancy we should not be swaddled, a child should be more free and a mother
should supervise and not hire strangers to look after the child. Let the mother and father agree on
the ordering of duties. He notices the nature of the sexes and declares the men should be strong
not active and women should be weak and passive. Do not try to make your daughter a good man
and oppose nature, a woman's education should be relational to men and a woman should make a
man happy. He says having education leads to a more fulfilling person he says as he contradicts
himself
III Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat (Marquis) de Condorcet (1743-1794)- showed that scientific
enlightenment and social reform are always linked, he was absorbed in journalism and electoral
reform, the right to vote for men, equality, people have been prevented from claiming their rights
by ignorance, the first to address the problem of data organization, how we organize our data
sometimes determines are outcome
popular education
elected to Legislative Assembly in 1791
universal education, universal suffrage, equality before the law, freedom of thought and
expression, the right to freedom and self-determination, the redistribution of wealth, a system
of national insurance, equal rights for women
“natural liberty consists in the right to do anything that does not injure the rights of others…”-
the only limits of this is to do nothing that you injure another or their property
worked on education, probability and data organization
Esquisse d’un Tableau Historique (1793-1794)
(The Sketch for a Historical Progress of the Human Mind)
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•nothing was certain
Condorcet’s feminism- stressed the similarity between the sexes, the rights of men rose from the
fact they were sensible but so do women, Women’s different interest was no excuse for depriving
them of their rights, advocated for votes or women
either everybody, men and women, had rights, or nobody did. Education, not sex, was
responsible for most of the disadvantages of women
admissions of women to the Right of Suffrage
divorce- marriages should be a civic contract only and divorce should be granted
homes for unmarried pregnant women- institutions were children could be born and mothers
could be taught a trade
• advocated birth control
lenient attitude toward prostitution and homosexuality
Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind (1793-1794)
the idea of history – as the state of man’s progress from superstition and barbarism to an age of
reason and enlightenment
Natural Laws
conditions of the “masses of mankind”
wanted to a) establish the facts of progress
b) discover its laws
Stages of ‘The Sketch’ outlined
Future according to Condorcet will be based upon:
1) the equality of the nations
2) the equality of individuals within a nation
3) the perfectibility of mankind
Strength
the “outcome of a progressive development”
(a succession of epochs)
Weakness
he did not have a clear idea of social evolution
“how” one develops from the other
IV The French Revolution – Overview and Sociological Implications (1787-1799)
Enlightenment Period – Toward French Revolution
reason together with observation
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