Discussion: Rousseau and Personal Liberty

This was our first event in our new venue at Magdalen College. We had a wonderful turn out with a large variation of expertise on Rousseau from those wanting to be introduced to his views and those who knew his works well. This made for a very interesting discussion, touching on the meaning and function of ‘the state’, the role played by ‘general will’ and whether this is a realistic concept, as well as more sociological tangents to the role of the family and personal contributions to society.

Rousseau’s philosophy presents many conflicts and problems for libertarians. It was also particularly interesting to think about how Enlightenment philosophy written on the eve of revolution may or may not be useful in the globalised world of today. Thank you to all those who attended.