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Rousseau and HobbesNature, Free Will, and the Passions$
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Robin Douglass

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198724964

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724964.001.0001

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Ordering the Passions

Ordering the Passions

(p.149) 4 Ordering the Passions
Rousseau and Hobbes

Robin Douglass

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the extent to which the political theories Hobbes and Rousseau each developed were shaped by their rival accounts of human nature and the passions they thought natural to man. It relates Rousseau’s theory of the passions to French neo-Augustinian moral philosophy and reveals the similarities between the Augustinian account of man’s post-lapsarian state and Hobbes’s depiction of the state of nature. Rousseau rejected this post-lapsarian account of man’s nature and instead thought that well-ordered republican institutions could cultivate man’s naturally good passions. The chapter challenges proto-Kantian readings of Rousseau’s account of freedom and virtue. Instead, it argues that his appeal to the passions in cultivating virtuous citizens is consistent with his ideas on free will and nature.

Keywords:   Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Thomas Hobbes, neo-Augustinianism, amour-propre, passions, free will, nature, republicanism, Immanuel Kant, virtue

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