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General Will
In political philosophy, the general will (french: volonté générale) is the will of the people as a whole. The term was made famous by 18th-century Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Basic ideas The phrase "general will", as Rousseau used it, occurs in Article Six of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (French: ''Déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen''), composed in 1789 during the French Revolution:The law is the expression of the general will. All citizens have the right to contribute personally, or through their representatives, to its formation. It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in its eyes, are equally admissible to all public dignities, positions, and employments, according to their capacities, and without any other distinction than that of their virtues and their talents. James Swenson writes: To my knowledge, the only time Rousseau actually uses "expression of the general will ...
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau (painted Portrait)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political, economic, and educational thought. His ''Discourse on Inequality'' and ''The Social Contract'' are cornerstones in modern political and social thought. Rousseau's sentimental novel '' Julie, or the New Heloise'' (1761) was important to the development of preromanticism and romanticism in fiction. His ''Emile, or On Education'' (1762) is an educational treatise on the place of the individual in society. Rousseau's autobiographical writings—the posthumously published '' Confessions'' (composed in 1769), which initiated the modern autobiography, and the unfinished '' Reveries of the Solitary Walker'' (composed 1776–1778)—exemplified the late 18th-century " Age of Sensibility", and featured ...
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Isaiah Berlin
Sir Isaiah Berlin (6 June 1909 – 5 November 1997) was a Russian-British social and political theorist, philosopher, and historian of ideas. Although he became increasingly averse to writing for publication, his improvised lectures and talks were sometimes recorded and transcribed, and many of his spoken words were converted into published essays and books, both by himself and by others, especially his principal editor from 1974, Henry Hardy. Born in Riga (now the capital of Latvia, then a part of the Russian Empire) in 1909, he moved to Petrograd, Russia, at the age of six, where he witnessed the revolutions of 1917. In 1921 his family moved to the UK, and he was educated at St Paul's School, London, and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1932, at the age of twenty-three, Berlin was elected to a prize fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford. In addition to his own prolific output, he translated works by Ivan Turgenev from Russian into English and, during World War II, worked ...
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Natural Law
Natural law ( la, ius naturale, ''lex naturalis'') is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature, and based on values intrinsic to human nature that can be deduced and applied independently of positive law (the express enacted laws of a state or society). According to natural law theory (called jusnaturalism), all people have inherent rights, conferred not by act of legislation but by " God, nature, or reason." Natural law theory can also refer to "theories of ethics, theories of politics, theories of civil law, and theories of religious morality." In the Western tradition, it was anticipated by the pre-Socratics, for example in their search for principles that governed the cosmos and human beings. The concept of natural law was documented in ancient Greek philosophy, including Aristotle, and was referred to in ancient Roman philosophy by Cicero. References to it are also to be found in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, and were later expounded upon ...
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Encyclopédie
''Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers'' (English: ''Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts''), better known as ''Encyclopédie'', was a general encyclopedia published in France between 1751 and 1772, with later supplements, revised editions, and translations. It had many writers, known as the Encyclopédistes. It was edited by Denis Diderot and, until 1759, co-edited by Jean le Rond d'Alembert. The ''Encyclopédie'' is most famous for representing the thought of the Enlightenment. According to Denis Diderot in the article "Encyclopédie", the ''Encyclopédies aim was "to change the way people think" and for people ( bourgeoisie) to be able to inform themselves and to know things. He and the other contributors advocated for the secularization of learning away from the Jesuits. Diderot wanted to incorporate all of the world's knowledge into the ''Encyclopédie'' and hoped that the text could dissemi ...
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Denis Diderot
Denis Diderot (; ; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the ''Encyclopédie'' along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. He was a prominent figure during the Age of Enlightenment. Diderot initially studied philosophy at a Jesuit college, then considered working in the church clergy before briefly studying law. When he decided to become a writer in 1734, his father disowned him. He lived a bohemian existence for the next decade. In the 1740s he wrote many of his best-known works in both fiction and non-fiction, including the 1748 novel ''The Indiscreet Jewels''. In 1751, Diderot co-created the ''Encyclopédie'' with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. It was the first encyclopedia to include contributions from many named contributors and the first to describe the mechanical arts. Its secular tone, which included articles skeptical about Biblical miracles, angered both religious an ...
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The Spirit Of The Laws
''The Spirit of Law'' (French: ''De l'esprit des lois'', originally spelled ''De l'esprit des loix''), also known in English as ''The Spirit of the Laws'', is a treatise on political theory, as well as a pioneering work in comparative law, published in 1748. Originally published anonymously, as was the norm, its influence outside France was aided by its rapid translation into other languages. In 1750 Thomas Nugent published the first English translation. In 1751 the Roman Catholic Church added ''De l'esprit des lois'' to its ''Index Librorum Prohibitorum'' ("List of Prohibited Books"). Montesquieu's treatise, already widely disseminated, had an enormous influence on the work of many others, most notably: Catherine the Great, who produced ''Nakaz'' (''Instruction''); the Founding Fathers of the United States Constitution; and Alexis de Tocqueville, who applied Montesquieu's methods to a study of American society, in ''Democracy in America''. Macaulay referenced Montesquieu's co ...
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Blaise Pascal
Blaise Pascal ( , , ; ; 19 June 1623 – 19 August 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, and Catholic writer. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal's earliest mathematical work was on conic sections; he wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of 16. He later corresponded with Pierre de Fermat on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science. In 1642, while still a teenager, he started some pioneering work on calculating machines (called Pascal's calculators and later Pascalines), establishing him as one of the first two inventors of the mechanical calculator. Like his contemporary René Descartes, Pascal was also a pioneer in the natural and applied sciences. Pascal wrote in defense of the scientific method and produced several controversial results. He made important contributions to the study of fluids, and ...
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Nicolas Malebranche
Nicolas Malebranche ( , ; 6 August 1638 – 13 October 1715) was a French Oratorian Catholic priest and rationalist philosopher. In his works, he sought to synthesize the thought of St. Augustine and Descartes, in order to demonstrate the active role of God in every aspect of the world. Malebranche is best known for his doctrines of vision in God, occasionalism and ontologism. Biography Early years Malebranche was born in Paris in 1638, the youngest child of Nicolas Malebranche, secretary to King Louis XIII of France, and Catherine de Lauzon, sister of Jean de Lauson, a Governor of New France. Because of a malformed spine, Malebranche received his elementary education from a private tutor. He left home at the age of sixteen to pursue a course of philosophy at the Collège de la Marche, and subsequently to study theology at the Collège de Sorbonne, both colleges from the University of Paris. He eventually left the Sorbonne, having rejected scholasticism, and entered the ...
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Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius (; 10 April 1583 – 28 August 1645), also known as Huig de Groot () and Hugo de Groot (), was a Dutch humanist, diplomat, lawyer, theologian, jurist, poet and playwright. A teenage intellectual prodigy, he was born in Delft and studied at Leiden University. He was imprisoned in Loevestein Castle for his involvement in the intra-Calvinist disputes of the Dutch Republic, but escaped hidden in a chest of books that was transported to Gorinchem. Grotius wrote most of his major works in exile in France. Hugo Grotius was a major figure in the fields of philosophy, political theory and law during the 16th and 17th centuries. Along with the earlier works of Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili, he laid the foundations for international law, based on natural law in its Protestant side. Two of his books have had a lasting impact in the field of international law: ''De jure belli ac pacis'' 'On the Law of War and Peace''dedicated to Louis XIII of France and the ' ...
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Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes ( ; 5/15 April 1588 – 4/14 December 1679) was an English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book ''Leviathan'', in which he expounds an influential formulation of social contract theory. In addition to political philosophy, Hobbes contributed to a diverse array of other fields, including history, jurisprudence, geometry, theology, and ethics, as well as philosophy in general. Biography Early life Thomas Hobbes was born on 5 April 1588 (Old Style), in Westport, now part of Malmesbury in Wiltshire, England. Having been born prematurely when his mother heard of the coming invasion of the Spanish Armada, Hobbes later reported that "my mother gave birth to twins: myself and fear." Hobbes had a brother, Edmund, about two years older, as well as a sister named Anne. Although Thomas Hobbes's childhood is unknown to a large extent, as is his mother's name, it is known that Hobbes's fat ...
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Natural Law
Natural law ( la, ius naturale, ''lex naturalis'') is a system of law based on a close observation of human nature, and based on values intrinsic to human nature that can be deduced and applied independently of positive law (the express enacted laws of a state or society). According to natural law theory (called jusnaturalism), all people have inherent rights, conferred not by act of legislation but by " God, nature, or reason." Natural law theory can also refer to "theories of ethics, theories of politics, theories of civil law, and theories of religious morality." In the Western tradition, it was anticipated by the pre-Socratics, for example in their search for principles that governed the cosmos and human beings. The concept of natural law was documented in ancient Greek philosophy, including Aristotle, and was referred to in ancient Roman philosophy by Cicero. References to it are also to be found in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, and were later expounded upon ...
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European Union
The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe. The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. The EU has often been described as a '' sui generis'' political entity (without precedent or comparison) combining the characteristics of both a federation and a confederation. Containing 5.8per cent of the world population in 2020, the EU generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of around trillion in 2021, constituting approximately 18per cent of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all EU states but Bulgaria have a very high Human Development Index according to the United Nations Development Programme. Its cornerstone, the Customs Union, paved the way to establishing an internal single market based on standardised legal framework and legislation that applies in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where the states have agreed ...
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