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Nov 29, 2016

The political thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is typically identified with two aspects of that of Thomas Hobbes. The first is the subject of sociability, and the similarities in their treatments of the natural state. The second is the civil state, and their joint hostility to any kind of independent religious organisation and, more broadly, any kind of factional grouping. In 1765, Rousseau’s entry on Political Economy in Diderot’s Encyclopédie was published in Geneva as a pamphlet entitled ‘The Citizen’. This title echoed Hobbes’ De Cive, and in this lecture, Michael Sonenscher discusses whether the similarity in titles indicates a broader similarity in thought.