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Rousseau - Study Notes.docx

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Western University
Philosophy 2500F/G

ROUSSEAU  Path of association – allegiance puts ourselves and strength in common under supreme direction of individual will  General will is a collective association given to a sovereign above the law because he can’t contract with himself  An individual is indivisible because you can’t punish yourself for breaking your contract  State is an entity best understood whence doing nothing – its power it to only affect others  Private will is that which interest benefits you alone – can’t be understood as identical to general will  Power of the state operates through forceful imposition of rules of government  Legitimacy of power: claim that we all by nature are free and equal – emphasis on freedom  Can’t be born into slavery – contrary to nature no sense of might or right only that power is attained through strength  When you argue to do something you’re dominated over, has to be a general will consensus  Submit to an authority outside ourselves is not something you naturally need to do  Sufficiency rule: you can acquire only that which you need to survive SOVEREIGNTY  Mistake in thinking that parts of government act together, everything is subordinate to the sovereign – general will can authorize or delineate parts of government but still subordinate  No acts under general will can be unlawful because it expresses itself in a lawful universal way  Interested in maximizing or reconciling individual freedom with the authority of the sate  Sovereign can only act when
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