"Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains."
Thus begins Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s great work of political philosophy, The Social Contract. Rousseau was trying to understand why a man would give up his natural freedoms and bind himself to the rule of a prince or a government. It is among the oldest questions in political philosophy, but it flourished particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries as France and Britain were racked by civil strife and revolution – what another great social contract thinker, Thomas Hobbes, might call the war of all against all.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Podcast of the Day
THE SOCIAL CONTRACT