Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol 4, No 6 (2015)

Rousseau and Liberalism. About a Possible Discourse for the Knowledge and the Transformation of Man.

Pablo Martín Méndez


From the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a very specific discursive concatenation seems to follow, a link that would point to provoke the intervention and the modification of man’s interiority. But this is not made explicit in the works of Rousseau, it is neither solved nor pending for a sufficiently careful interpretation, but rather emerges from certain “regularities” and “exclusions” of statements. Returning to the methodology of Michel Foucault, in the following article, we shall specify the regularities and exclusions that constitute a possible rousseauian discourse. It will be noted in principle this discourse talks about the need to manage the “conflict of wills” inside each subject. It will be observed besides that the management of wills requests the unfolding of the whole “political economy”. And it will be indicated finally that the governmental actions depart from an “irrevocable criterion”, namely: the criterion that can only be acquired by means of the knowledge of free and real man. Now, it is not enough clarify the regularities between statements; in any case, it is also necessary to consider the exclusion of which these regularities depend. According to this article, there is a rousseaunian discourse whose possibility’s margin implies the exclusion of statements issued by liberalism of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.