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Title: Le législateur et l’inconscient du peuple. Rousseau avec Durkheim
Authors: Callegaro, Francesco
Keywords: RousseauDurkheimpeoplelegislatorgeneral willsocietyreligion
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Francesco Callegaro, "Le législateur et l’inconscient du peuple. Rousseau avec Durkheim", in "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2018) XX/2", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018, pp. 211-243
Journal: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 
Part of: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2018) XX/2
Following the hermeneutic tradition inaugurated by Emile Durkheim’s reading of Jean-
Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract , the article offers a sociological interpretation of the
enigmatic figure of the legislator seeing it as the royal road to the unconscious of the
people. After examining the dilemmas that affect the cardinal concept of general will and
that undermine its standard liberal-republican understanding, it thus proceeds to a
progressive exploration of those pre-contractual conditions of the social contract which
constitute so many historical layers making up the people, well beyond its explicit political
expression in constitutional laws. In the perspective of the legislator, the self-instituting
people therefore appears as well as an already instituted society whose internal unity goes
back, in the subsoil of customs, to the religion of a founder. Taking up Durkheim’s
sociological thesis on the internal relation between society and religion through the sacred,
as presented in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, it ends by trying to answer the
question that this other Rousseau addresses us: who has tried to embody, in political
modernity, that strategic role of the great legislator that the Social Contract already saw as
a necessary condition for the emergence of a free people likely to act as the protagonist of
its own history.
ISSN: 1825-5167
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2018) XX/2

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