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Explainer: the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is profoundly contemporary

By Chris Fleming, Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University
By any reckoning, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) is one of the most influential Western philosophers in history. No account of the modern era – not just modern thought – could ignore him. Few courses in political or social theory would think to omit him.

It is therefore worth coming to grips with his thought and its legacy. But like any major thinker, there are risks in summaries – some of which give us clues about Rousseau himself.

Although he is known as a social and political philosopher, Rousseau’s creative output does not resemble that of a contemporary “theorist”.…The Conversation

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