The Social Contract.....and just who was this Rousseau guy anyhow?
It has occurred to me as of late how misunderstood the philosophy if Jean-Jacques Rousseau really is. I find a great many people quoting his work out of context. I realize that in this age of half truths expounded by the mass media, it is easy to begin to believe that to confound the work of another to prove the point of your personal rhetoric is becomming increasingly acceptible. I will not stand here and preach to anyone about ethical standards but in order to conduct a well rounded debate on the subject of the man and his works, I wish to establish some ground rules up front. Call it a gentlemens' agreement if you will.
This idea was hatched by me over the recent July 4th holiday. While having an argument on warblogging.com with another individual whom I sincerely hope will join this debate, I decided that plucking talking points from Rousseau's work and publishing them an someone else's web site and arguing these points was rude to the other persons who wished to contribute and were not interested in matters of philosophy. I therefore decided that this is the way it needs to be done.
As for the rules, I do not have too many.
First and foremost, I will not censure anyone for any reason. Censureship is one of the very 'evils' I abhor and will not do it, even if it means someone making me look like an idiot in my own space.
Secondly, having said that, I do expect that if you wish to post comments here that you have something to say. I realize that in the course of this discussion there will be a lot of subject matter that is abstract in nature but I will not hesitate to call you out if you are making a misrepresentation of stated material by anyone in this discussion. Once again, this even applies if I agree with your comment. I believe that everyone has something valid to say; and it is my sincere hope that everyone involved will come to a better understanding of the subject as seen from all sides of this argument. I say all sides because I truly believe there to be more than one right answer to most of life's riddles.
Thirdly, it is my intent to publish Rousseau's Social Contract in useable segments. I apoplogize in advance for using his work as translated. This is due to my ignorance of the German language and is an unfortunate limitation to the subject. I will however be citing from two different translations and will make note of any discrepancy in regards to translation for the participants to decide upon.