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Rousseau is often portrayed as an educational and social reformer whose aim was to increase individual freedom. In this volume David Gauthier examines Rousseau's evolving notion of freedom, where he focuses on a single quest: can freedom and the independent self be regained? Rousseau's first answer is given in Emile, where he seeks to create a self-sufficient individual, neither materially nor psychologically enslaved to others. His second is in the Social Contract, where he seeks to create a citizen who identifies totally with his community, experiencing his dependence on it only as a dependence on himself. Rousseau implicitly recognized the failure of these solutions. His third answer is one of the main themes of the Confessions and Reveries, where he is made for a love that merges the selves of the lovers into a single, psychologically sufficient unity that makes each 'better than free'. But is this response a chimaera?
Subject: Social Sciences -> Philosophy -> History & Surveys