The Primacy of Pity: Reconsidering Ethics and Education in Rousseau

Bojesen, Emile (2016) The Primacy of Pity: Reconsidering Ethics and Education in Rousseau.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17449642.2016.1160521

Abstract

For Rousseau, there are only three things he does not reason away apart from reason itself: self-interest, the good and, at least until Emile, pity. This paper argues that it is Rousseau’s original formulation of pity in the Second Discourse that is able to provide the extra-rational conception of ethics that his political and educational philosophy lacks when limited to a reading of the Social Contract and Emile. This paper will also show how the reconceptualisation of these existential predicates is usefully aligned with a reading of Derrida’s conceptions of immunity and autoimmunity. By reconceiving Rousseau’s educational and political thinking in terms of the primacy of pity rather than reason, this paper will present a kind of philosophical prototype for beginning to rethink contemporary educational and political logic in terms of the primacy of pity more generally.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: V500 Philosophy, X300 Academic studies in education
Members: The University of Winchester
Depositing User: ULCC Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2016 12:53
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2016 12:53
URI: http://collections.crest.ac.uk/id/eprint/10859

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