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Abandoned to Ourselves$
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Peter A. Meyers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300172058

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300172058.001.0001

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Morality in the Order of the Will

Morality in the Order of the Will

(p.225) Part IV Morality in the Order of the Will (p.226)
Abandoned to Ourselves

Peter Alexander Meyers

Yale University Press

One of Rousseau's main messages is that we should be happy. One's forces must be at least equal to one's besoins or needs. These needs are forms of relationship that are constantly reconstituted as the individual and society evolve. The structure of each need is dependence, either from things or from persons. Part IV considers that the difference between the two sorts of dependence comes down to a difference in the order that characterizes the object from which one is dependent. Things are ordered; persons are not. In this way, order presents itself as the major criterion for assessing the problem of happiness. The formula for happiness turns out to be just one version of the more general problem of order.

Keywords:   Rousseau, happiness, dependence, things, persons

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