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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.195) Chapter 7 Self-Knowledge
On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life

Heinrich Meier

, Robert Berman
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the relationship between Jean-Jacques Rousseau's self-knowledge and Beisichselbstsein. Rousseau's Beisichselbstsein is mediated by the confrontation with faith, by the knowledge of politics, by the contemplation of nature, by the experience of love. Rousseau made politics and faith, nature and love, into the great themes of his œuvre. They return in Les rêveries du Promeneur Solitaire as objects of his self-knowledge. This chapter considers Rousseau's investigation of the interplay between Beisichselbstsein and self-knowledge in the philosophic life using two promenades, the Première promenade and the Huitième promenade. It also analyzes the criticism to which Rousseau subjects his seeming happiness—that it was a state of losing oneself in the world of self-forgetfulness.

Keywords:   self-knowledge, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Beisichselbstsein, nature, love, faith, Les rêveries du Promeneur Solitaire, philosophic life, promenades, happiness

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