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On the Happiness of the Philosophic LifeReflections on Rousseau's Rêveries in Two Books$
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Heinrich Meier

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226074030

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226074177.001.0001

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(p.46) Chapter 2 Faith
On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life

Heinrich Meier

, Robert Berman
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the theme of faith in Les rêveries du Promeneur Solitaire, which have as their subject the philosophic life, shown in motion by the individual promenades. Jean-Jacques Rousseau sets to work on a “great review,” from which he exempts nothing, which is a matter of life and death. Its central object is faith: the duties and expectations of morality, the commandments and hopes of religion. Rousseau also speaks of the “grande revue” and the “grande révolution,” in which he points to the deep break that is tantamount to the beginning of the philosophic life. He treats the beginning of the philosophic life in the promenade that makes the theme of his faith obvious for Everyman. The message for Everyman apparently is: Rousseau's happiness depends upon his faith, and his faith is essentially hope. This chapter shows that Rousseau outlines his happiness by invoking the self-suffiency of God.

Keywords:   faith, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Les rêveries du Promeneur Solitaire, philosophic life, promenades, great review, religion, grande révolution, happiness, God

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