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The Collective Will: From The Political To The Social

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the aspects of the history of the conceptions concerning the singularity and adversity of nations in social and political thought. The social and political thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau was influenced by that of Montesquieu. An important landmark in the history of the reflection on the nation in France was Le people by Jules Michelet. Between Ernest Renan and Michelet the new human sciences, those inspired by the positivist notion that the model to follow was the one offered by natural science, had made further inroads into France's intellectual landscape. The chapter provides example of the development of the reflection on the singularity and adversity of nations in the nineteenth century, that of Gustave Le Bon. There is, in the work of Emile Durkheim, an especially rich historical and philosophical reflection on what constitutes human beings and on how they relate to one another.

Keywords:Emile Durkheim; Ernest Renan; France; Gustave Le Bon; Jean-Jacques Rousseau; Michelet; Montesquieu; national singularity



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