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The Virtue of the Citizen

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Republicanism in the Eighteenth-Century French Context


Merja Kylmäkoski

The author examines Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s political thought from the angle of classical republicanism. To offer an account of Rousseau’s republicanism she explores his idea of the citizen and civic virtues. In addition, eighteenth-century conceptions of luxury and Rousseau’s ideas of the patriot and liberty are discussed. Rousseau’s republicanism is here considered to stem from his Genevan legacy and his ideas are seen as a critical response to the contemporary ascendancy of the Mandevillean idea of man, which emphasized the values and virtues attached to commerce.
Contents: Jean-Jacques Rousseau – French dictionaries – Republic – Citizen – Virtue – Geneva – Luxury – Patriot – Liberty.