Sunday, January 18, 2009
"...taking men as they are and laws as they might be"
In his introduction to The Social Contract, Maurice Cranston discusses Rousseau's attempt to describe a form of government both ideal and realistic. Rousseau himself, in introducing his work, claims that "[his] purpose is to consider if, in political society, there can be any legitimate and sure principle of government, taking men as they are and laws as they might be" (49). To what extent, do you think, Rousseau works with those considerations? Which of his ideas could be realistically applied, and which are clearly formulated for an ideal society?