Book cover - Of The Social Contract and Other Political Writings - Author Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Christopher Bertram & Quintin Hoare

Of The Social Contract and Other Political Writings

Author Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Christopher Bertram & Quintin Hoare

  • Release Date: 2012-10-04
  • Genre: Philosophy

Of The Social Contract and Other Political Writings Summary


Of The Social Contract and Other Political Writings - 'Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains.'

These are the famous opening words of a treatise that has stirred vigorous debate ever since its first publication in 1762. Rejecting the view that anyone has a natural right to wield authority over others, Rousseau argues instead for a pact, or 'social contract', that should exist between all the citizens of a state and that should be the source of sovereign power. From this fundamental premise, he goes on to consider issues of liberty and law, freedom and justice, arriving at a view of society that has seemed to some a blueprint for totalitarianism, to others a declaration of democratic principles.

Translated by Quintin Hoare
With a new introduction by Christopher Bertram

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