Rousseau's Theodicy of Self-Love: Evil, Rationality, and the Drive for Recognition

Rousseau's Theodicy of Self-Love: Evil, Rationality, and the Drive for Recognition

Frederick Neuhouser


This publication is the 1st finished learn of Rousseau's wealthy and intricate thought of the kind of self-love (amour propre ) that, for him, marks the critical distinction among people and the beasts. Amour propre is the eagerness that drives human contributors to hunt the esteem, approval, admiration, or love--the acceptance --of their fellow beings. Neuhouser reconstructs Rousseau's figuring out of what the force for acceptance is, why it's so complicated, and the way its presence opens up far-reaching developmental chances for creatures that own it. one in all Rousseau's important theses is that amour propre in its corrupted, manifestations--pride or vanity--is the imperative resource of an array of evils so common that they could simply seem to be important gains of the human : enslavement, clash, vice, distress, and self-estrangement. but Rousseau additionally argues that fixing those difficulties relies now not on suppressing or overcoming the force for attractiveness yet on cultivating it in order that it contributes certainly to the fulfillment of freedom, peace, advantage, happiness, and unalienated selfhood. certainly, Rousseau is going as far as to assert that, regardless of its many hazards, the necessity for popularity is a situation of approximately every thing that makes human existence precious and that elevates it above mere animal life: rationality, morality, freedom--subjectivity itself--would be very unlikely for people if it weren't for amour propre and the kinfolk to others it impels us to establish.

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