Forced Freedom and the Common Good: A Critique of Rousseau’s General Will

International Journal of Integrative Humanism Vol. 10 No. 1, November 2018.
ISSN: 2026 – 6286

T.V. Ogan

Abstract
One fundamental question of social and political philosophy concerns how society, or the state is to be governed to ensure the well-being of the members or citizens. Encapsulated in the notion of well-being are two ideologically parallel, though socially and politically desirable concepts, which are common good and individual freedom. Thus, one fundamental concern of social and political philosophy is how the society, or the state is to be governed to
satisfy the collective interest or the common good of the citizens. Rousseau had evolved a political theory – the general will – which he claims will be able to bring the common good, and also guarantee political freedom for the citizens. The possibility of the general will to accomplish this twin, albeit parallel social ideals, shall be the object of our inquiry in this paper.


Keywords: Forced, Freedom, Good

Edioms: Research and publication services

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