Thu Apr 1, 2010
Howison Library, 4:10–6 PM
Frederick Neuhouser (Barnard College, Columbia Univeristy)
The Normative Significance of ‘Nature’ in Rousseau’s Moral and Political Thought
This paper attempts to disentangle the most important senses in which the concept of nature figures in Rousseau’s thought and to articulate the complex normative role this it plays in his critique of modern society. It concludes that, although ‘nature’ plays a significant normative role in Rousseau’s moral and political thought, his appeals to nature are more coherent, more compelling, and more in line with contemporary conceptions of nature than they initially appear.