The general will

They can be described as: The will of one. The will of the few.

The general will

General will definition at, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. Look it up now! The sixteen essays of The General Will: The Evolution of a Concept, written by prominent political theorists and philosophers, chronicle the evolution of the general will, which is most centrally associated with the political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, from the seventeenth to the twentieth David Lay Williams. Sep 29,  · The general will is an additional will, somehow distinct from and other than any individual will or group of individual wills. The general will is, by some means, endowed with goodness and wisdom surpassing the beneficence and wisdom of any person or collection of Resolved.

Whereas Hobbes created his unitary sovereign through the mechanism of individual and unilateral promises and whereas Locke prevented excessive concentration of power by requiring the cooperation of different organs of government for the accomplishment of different purposes, Rousseau merged all individual citizens into… The notion of the general will precedes Rousseau and has its roots in Christian theology.

In the second half of the 17th century, Nicolas Malebranche attributed the general will to God. Individuals can access this moral ideal by reflecting on their interest as a member of the human race. The general will, Diderot believes, is necessarily directed at the good since its object is the betterment of all.

For Rousseau, The general will, the general will is not an abstract ideal. It is instead the will actually held by the people in their quality as citizens. Rousseau argues that the general will is intrinsically right, but he also criticized in some works mainly in his Discourse on the Sciences and Artsthe rationalist elevation of reason above feelings.

This has provoked scholarly debates about the rational and affective dimensions of the general will. On the one hand, the general will reflects the rational interest of the individual as citizen as well as that of the people as a whole. Rousseau assumed that all people are capable of taking the moral standpoint of aiming at the common good and that, if they did so, they would reach a unanimous decision.

Thus, in an ideal state, laws express the general will. While citizens may be wrong and deceived, according to Rousseau, they will aim at justice as long as they pursue the interest of the people rather than follow their interest as individuals or as members of different groups.

Talmon have accused Rousseau of being an authoritarian thinker and, in the second case, a forefather of totalitarian politics. While scholars differ on the meaning of this passage, there is wide agreement that Rousseau is concerned with preserving civil liberty and autonomynot with giving free reign to government.

In fact, the concept of the general will also implies a proscription against despotism. For Rousseau, government is only legitimate insofar as it is subordinated to popular sovereignty or, in other words, follows the general will of the people.

Government loses all legitimacy the moment it places itself above the law to pursue its own interest as a separate political body. The concept of the general will had a deep and lasting influence on modern republican thought, particularly in the French tradition.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of article 6a founding document of the current French Constitution, defined law as the expression of the general will.The general will shall be embodied in the social contract, a constitution for example.

The social contract and the civil rights it gives us are neither “natural” nor permanently fixed. Rather, the contract itself is the means towards an end — the benefit of all is only legitimate to the extent that it meets the general .

general will noun (in the philosophy of Rousseau) the source of legitimate authority residing in the collective will as contrasted with individual interests. The general will is the overriding good to which each person is willing to sacrifice all other goods, including all particular private wills.

The "good citizen" assigns to society's laws a goodness and wisdom exceeding his own goodness and wisdom. The phrase "general will," as Rousseau used it, occurs in Article Six of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (French: Déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen), composed in during the French Revolution: The law is the expression of the general will.

— Debbie Truong, Washington Post, "This school was named for a Confederate general. Now, it’s Obama Elementary.," 19 June An elementary school in Richmond, Virginia that was named after a slave-holding Confederate general will now be named after the first black president of the United States.

The general will

The phrase "general will," as Rousseau used it, occurs in Article Six of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (French: Déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen), composed in during the French Revolution: The law is the expression of the general will.

General will | philosophy of Rousseau |