This introductory chapter discusses the rationale for further studying the relationship between Hobbes and Rousseau, before providing a brief outline of the structure of the argument developed in subsequent chapters. It supplies an overview of the interpretation of Rousseau’s political philosophy to be developed throughout the book, highlighting the central themes of nature, free will, and the passions. Finally, it addresses some methodological issues and considers Rousseau’s knowledge of Hobbes’s works.
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