In this book, Rousseau is understood as a theorist of the common person. For Strong, Rousseau resonates with Kant, Hegel, and Marx, but he is more modern like Emerson, Nietzsche, Eittegenstein, and Heidegger. Rousseau's democratic individual is an ordinary self, paradoxically multiple and not singular. In the course of exploring this contention, Strong examines Rousseau's fear of authorship (though not of authority), his understanding of the human, his attempt to overcome the scandal that relativism posed for politics, and the political importance of sexuality.
Tracy B. Strong is professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego.
Chapter 1 Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Fear of the Author Chapter 2 Rousseau and the Experience of Others Chapter 3 The General Will and the Scandal of Politics Chapter 4 The Education of an Ordinary Man Chapter 5 The Ends of Politics