Du Contrat Social

Du Contrat Social

Presents the eighteenth century French philosopher's views on society and the relationship between the individual and the state

Moral Strangers, Moral Acquaintance, and Moral Friends

Connectedness and its Conditions

Moral Strangers, Moral Acquaintance, and Moral Friends

Elaborates an ethic in which beneficence on a personal and communal level has moral force; proposes the idea of an interplay between compassion and reason to help address moral problems; and sketches the conditions necessary for a democratic approach to such problems.

Rousseau's Political Philosophy

An Interpretation from Within

Rousseau's Political Philosophy


Rousseau and Hobbes

Nature, Free Will, and the Passions

Rousseau and Hobbes

Robin Douglass presents the first comprehensive study of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's engagement with Thomas Hobbes. He reconstructs the intellectual context of this engagement to reveal the deeply polemical character of Rousseau's critique of Hobbes and to show how Rousseau sought to expose that much modern natural law and doux commerce theory was, despite its protestations to the contrary, indebted to a Hobbesian account of human nature and the origins of society. Throughout the book Douglass explores the reasons why Rousseau both followed and departed from Hobbes in different places, while resisting the temptation to present him as either a straightforwardly Hobbesian or anti-Hobbesian thinker. On the one hand, Douglass reveals the extent to which Rousseau was occupied with problems of a fundamentally Hobbesian nature and the importance, to both thinkers, of appealing to the citizens' passions in order to secure political unity. On the other hand, Douglass argues that certain ideas at the heart of Rousseau's philosophy—free will and the natural goodness of man—were set out to distance him from positions associated with Hobbes. Douglass advances an original interpretation of Rousseau's political philosophy, emerging from this encounter with Hobbesian ideas, which focuses on the interrelated themes of nature, free will, and the passions. Douglass distances his interpretation from those who have read Rousseau as a proto-Kantian and instead argues that his vision of a well-ordered republic was based on cultivating man's naturally good passions to render the life of the virtuous citizen in accordance with nature.

The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law

The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law

This handbook provides an authoritative and original overview of the origins of public international law. It analyses the modern history of international law from a global perspective, and examines the lives of those who were most responsible for shaping it.

History of Ideas

Travel Writing ; History of the Book ; Englightenment and Antiquity

History of Ideas

The Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment series, previously known as SVEC (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century), has published over 500 peer-reviewed scholarly volumes since 1955 as part of the Voltaire Foundation at the University of Oxford. International in focus, Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment volumes cover wide-ranging aspects of the eighteenth century and the Enlightenment, from gender studies to political theory, and from economics to visual arts and music, and are published in English or French.

Brotherly Love

Freemasonry and Male Friendship in Enlightenment France

Brotherly Love

Friendship, an acquired relationship primarily based on choice rather than birth, lay at the heart of Enlightenment preoccupations with sociability and the formation of the private sphere. In Brotherly Love, Kenneth Loiselle argues that Freemasonry is an ideal arena in which to explore the changing nature of male friendship in Enlightenment France. Freemasonry was the largest and most diverse voluntary organization in the decades before the French Revolution. At least fifty thousand Frenchmen joined lodges, the memberships of which ranged across the social spectrum from skilled artisans to the highest ranks of the nobility. Loiselle argues that men were attracted to Freemasonry because it enabled them to cultivate enduring friendships that were egalitarian and grounded in emotion. Drawing on scores of archives, including private letters, rituals, the minutes of lodge meetings, and the speeches of many Freemasons, Loiselle reveals the thought processes of the visionaries who founded this movement, the ways in which its members maintained friendships both within and beyond the lodge, and the seemingly paradoxical place women occupied within this friendship community. Masonic friendship endured into the tumultuous revolutionary era, although the revolutionary leadership suppressed most of the lodges by 1794. Loiselle not only examines the place of friendship in eighteenth-century society and culture but also contributes to the history of emotions and masculinity, and the essential debate over the relationship between the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.