The general will: The evolution of a concept

James Farr, David Lay Williams

Research output: Book/ReportBook

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although it originated in theological debates, the general will ultimately became one of the most celebrated and denigrated concepts emerging from early modern political thought. Jean-Jacques Rousseau made it the central element of his political theory, and it took on a life of its own during the French Revolution, before being subjected to generations of embrace or opprobrium. James Farr and David Lay Williams have collected for the first time a set of essays that track the evolving history of the general will from its origins to recent times. The General Will: The Evolution of a Concept discusses the general will's theological, political, formal, and substantive dimensions with a careful eye toward the concept's virtues and limitations as understood by its expositors and critics, among them Arnauld, Pascal, Malebranche, Leibniz, Locke, Spinoza, Montesquieu, Kant, Constant, Tocqueville, Adam Smith and John Rawls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages495
ISBN (Electronic)9781107297982
ISBN (Print)9781107057012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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