Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Modernity and Its DiscontentsMaking and Unmaking the Bourgeois from Machiavelli to Bellow$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Steven B. Smith

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300198393

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300198393.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 31 May 2020

Rousseau’s Counter-Enlightenment: Letter to d’Alembert on the Theater

Rousseau’s Counter-Enlightenment: Letter to d’Alembert on the Theater

Chapter:
(p.175) Chapter 9 Rousseau’s Counter-Enlightenment: Letter to d’Alembert on the Theater
Source:
Modernity and Its Discontents
Author(s):

Steven B. Smith

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300198393.003.0009

Rousseau is the first writer to signal a radical discontent with the Enlightenment and its creation, the bourgeois. He conveys this critique most powerfully in his denunciation of modernity’s great model of a kind of global civil society described as the “Republic of Letters.” In his First Discourse Rousseau excoriated the Enlightenment for corrupting manners and morals, but in his public Letter to d’Alembert he made clear his case against the Enlightenment’s program for social reform by attacking what he saw as d’Alembert’s reckless proposal for instituting a theater in Geneva. Here he uncovered all the dangers that later writers would call “unintended consequences.” Rousseau’s attack on the Enlightenment’s progressivism was carried out in the name of a new political form that he did much to create: the nation-state. He argued that the national ideal was superior to the universalism and cosmopolitanism of the Enlightenment.

Keywords:   Bayle, Pierre, Counter-Enlightenment, D’Alembert, Geneva, Hypocrisy, Koselleck, Reinhart, Nation-state, Republic of Letters, Theater

Yale Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.