By Heinrich Meier
Trans. through Robert Berman
the 1st a part of On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life methods the Rêveries not as one other autobiographical textual content within the culture of the Confessions and the Dialogues, yet as a mirrored image at the philosophic existence and the targeted happiness it offers. the second one turns to an in depth research of a piece mentioned within the Rêveries, the “Profession of religion of the Savoyard Vicar,” which caused Rousseau’s political persecution while it used to be initially released as a part of Émile. In his exam of this so much arguable of Rousseau’s writings, which goals to put the principles for a winning nonphilosophic existence, Meier brings to gentle the diversities among common faith as expressed by means of the Vicar and Rousseau’s common theology. jointly, the 2 reciprocally illuminating components of this research supply an essential advisor to Rousseau and to the knowledge of the character of the philosophic life.
“[A] dense yet detailed and mesmerizing analysis.”—New Yorker
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Additional info for On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life: Reflections on Rousseau’s Rêveries in Two Books
Here the word has the same openness it has in the book’s title. The doubling of the activity and the result of the activity, which is abandoned in favor of the result in the second and final use in the Première promenade, is also preserved. ” Réflechir takes the place of rêver and thereby elucidates, sharpens, determines rêveries. Time and again Rousseau makes use of the tool of elucidation, sharpening, and determination by replacement or by silent transition to a more sharply contoured concept following the example of this passage.
Rousseau becomes the witness to this teaching not by setting out for Geneva in order to lead there the political life, which is based on and defined by the teaching of the citoyen. From the seclusion of his hermitage he as an author offers the fatherland and mankind an example of the good citizen. He is a partisan for the whole. He dispenses advice in a debate that concerns the weal and woe of the republic. The writing shows that the author is up to the task. It provides evidence that he knows how to consider the historical circumstances, economic presuppositions, and moral aspects of the matter at issue with circumspection, which is required for an appropriate political counsel.
The writing shows that the author is up to the task. It provides evidence that he knows how to consider the historical circumstances, economic presuppositions, and moral aspects of the matter at issue with circumspection, which is required for an appropriate political counsel. It illustrates that Rousseau has both the ability to do precise analysis of the situation and a clear idea of the principles by which his home city is able to orient itself. And, in addition, it makes him known as a theater critic of consequence, who knows by heart the plays of a Racine, Molière, or Voltaire, and who will perform brilliantly when arguing with critics in Paris or elsewhere about their dramatic works.
On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life: Reflections on Rousseau’s Rêveries in Two Books by Heinrich Meier