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Rousseau And The Conflict Between The Educations Of ‘Man’ And 'Citizen'

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Chapter Summary

This chapter gives a brief account of the principles underlying the educational regimen that Rousseau sets out in the most unwieldy and neglected of his philosophical texts, Emile. It argues that both man and citizen represent genuinely worthy, perhaps even equally worthy, ideals and that realizing one is possible only at the expense of the other. On this view, the human condition is such that it is possible to achieve either the goods of citizenship or those associated with being a man but not both; or, what is more likely, the human condition is marked by a radical Entzweiung, or bifurcation, in which individuals are continually torn between two opposing identitiesman and citizenthat defy reconciliation. The chapter claims that for Rousseau these two ideals are not inherently incompatible and that demonstrating this is a central concern of the philosophical project carried out in Emile and the Social Contract.

Keywords: citizen; educational regimen; Emile; Rousseau; Social Contract



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