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Rousseau's Theodicy of Self-LoveEvil, Rationality, and the Drive for Recognition$
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Frederick Neuhouser

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542673

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542673.001.0001

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The Dangers of Amour‐Propre

The Dangers of Amour‐Propre

(p.57) 2 The Dangers of Amour‐Propre
Rousseau's Theodicy of Self-Love

Frederick Neuhouser (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter reconstructs Rousseau's account of why amour-propre is the principal source of the enslavement, conflict, vice, misery, and self-estrangement that pervades human reality. The first question to be addressed is how amour-propre helps make possible the evils mentioned above. The concern is not to explain why those evils are so widespread — why amour-propre so frequently gives rise to them — but merely to understand how the features of amour-propre outlined in the previous chapter make them possible. Implicit in this undertaking is the view that in the absence of amour-propre, these human evils would be non-existent or, at worst, extremely rare.

Keywords:   human evils, enslavement, conflict, vice, misery, self-estrangement

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