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Entanglements and ambiguities
Saurabh Dube

ruptures of functionalist and structural-functionalist anthropology with evolutionist (and diffusionist) principles on the grounds of their speculative procedures had wider consequences. They entailed a wider suspicion toward, the placing of a question mark on, history as such within the discipline. 1 Now the practice of anthropology could proceed in contradistinction to the writing of history. Second

in Subjects of modernity
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In the beginning was song
Mads Qvortrup

forget, was writing against the backdrop of the ‘disenchantment of the world’. Even music, he believed, was in danger of being swept away by the torrents of scientism and wanton philosophy. Rameau,2 not only a composer but also a materialist musicologist, had developed an ingenious and elaborate science of music based on Newtonian physics. This was an almost blasphemous position according to Rousseau. In Lettre sur la musique française, he wrote, ‘If you limit the music to motions [and other physical phenomena], you completely rob it of its moral effects.’ Moral

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Identities and incitements
Saurabh Dube

modernity and history and their entanglements and contradictions, the subjects of this book. Untangling identity An apparent irony involving the past in our present turns on and draws together the terrains of history, modernity, and identity. Here is what the irony entails: exactly at the moment when formative procedures of disciplinary history writing have come under searing

in Subjects of modernity
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Time and space
Saurabh Dube

. Such readings could problematize the very nature of the historical archive as well as initiate conversations with other orientations, including those of structural linguistics and critical theory. 1 No less salient were incipient acknowledgments of the innately political character of history writing. In this wider scenario, attending the history (honors) undergraduate program

in Subjects of modernity
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Mads Qvortrup

learn from his writings. Moreover, in addition to explicitly stating that he was writing for all subsequent generations (see above), Rousseau arguably wrote about issues that were as salient then as they are now. The issue that ‘power corrupts’ may serve as an illustration. Rulers have always sought absolute power (or as few restraints as possible), hence the nature of the problem of constitutionalism has stayed unaltered, although the political circumstances have changed. It is, of course, true that we – as readers – belong to different traditions, and all reading is

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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An introduction
Saurabh Dube

is only appropriate that I now introduce the key tendencies that both influence my wider work and carry key implications for this Theory for a Global Age series. 9 Here are to be found bodies of writing that have been deeply contentious and that I read critically in Subjects of Modernity . For these reasons, it is only after presenting their emphases and attending to the protocols of their

in Subjects of modernity
Rousseau’s and nationalism
Mads Qvortrup

’une Nation malheureusse qu’à proposer ses idées sur les corrections à faire a cette constitution’) (I: 836). He was scarcely more enthusiastic about his work on Corsica’s constitution. Reflecting on the invitation by Buttafuoco in Les Confessions he simply asserts that the undertaking of writing a constitution for Corsica ‘was beyond my strength’ (Rousseau 1992: 287). This might explain why he never published the two treatises and, indeed, failed to even finish Projet. The fate of the two treatises may also owe much to the political developments which led to Rousseau

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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The life and times of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Mads Qvortrup

penetrating, revealing, and at times, pathetic autobiography in the history of Western literature, namely Les Confessions. Having antagonised his former friends among the Encycloplédistes, the Genevan authorities, the Catholic Church, and just about everyone else, Rousseau did himself few favours by writing his Confessions – and his other autobiographical writings, Dialouges: Rousseau juge de Jean-Jacques (1776), Les rêveries du promeneur solitaire (1778), and his letters to the French censor Malesherbes in 1762. As Byron noted about Rousseau, in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Antinomies and enticements
Saurabh Dube

to re-enchant modernity through surrealistic representation and writing and ecstatic thought and theory. 6 Here, I consider it important to critically crystallize such consideration of the magic and/or the modern by placing the magical formations of money and markets as well as the fetish of state and sovereignty as part of the wider enchantments of modernity. I have noted that the enchantments extend

in Subjects of modernity
Mads Qvortrup

deification of selfishness, were what caused him to develop an alternative to the models which have prevailed since his own time. The poverty of Hobbesianism Nobody quite knows how it happened. No single philosopher, statesman or cleric can be blamed for the demise of the selfless ethics of the classics and of Christian religion. Yet one philosopher stands accused of putting the doctrine into writing; Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679). Hobbes – perhaps alongside Machiavelli – deserves (dis)credit for being the first major philosopher who sought to develop a moral philosophy on

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau