Course Details

POSC 260: "A Savage Made to Inhabit Cities": The Political Philosophy of Rousseau

In this course we will study what Rousseau considered his greatest and best book: Emile. Emile is a philosophic novel. It uses a thought experiment--the rearing of a child from infancy to adulthood--to explore human nature and the human condition, including their political dimensions. Among Emile's themes are natural goodness and the origins of evil; self-love and sociability; the differences and relations between the sexes; citizenship; and the principles of political right. The book also addresses the question of how one might live naturally and happily amid an unnatural and unhappy civilization.
6 credits; HI; Not offered 2021-2022