The Enduring Challenge of Rousseau's Thought

December 15, 2012 - December 17, 2012
Political Science, The Colorado College

Gaylord, Worner Center
14 East Cache la Poudre
Colorado Springs 80903
United States

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  • Rousseau Association


Eve Grace
Colorado College

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In the year 2012, the 300th anniversary of his birth and the 250th anniversary of the publication of Emile, the magnitude of Rousseau’s legacy is incontestable. While the depth and systematic character of Rousseau’s thought had been recognized almost immediately by such thinkers as Kant and Hegel, among others, there has continued to be debate, not over the extent of his influence in many domains, but rather over the degree to which his legacy is to be understood as the result of rhetorical genius and dazzling dilettantism, rather than of meticulous art and philosophic rigor.

The object of this conference is to bring renewed attention to Rousseau’s genuine and yet at times still undervalued stature as a scientist, philosopher, and artist. We hope that the work presented at this conference will serve to showcase how very deeply and subtly Rousseau thought, to explore some of the complex problems that he treats so radically and profoundly, to bring to life the vigorous debates in which he is engaged with his most thoughtful contemporaries and predecessors, and to demonstrate the subtlety and depth of discipline that he brought to his many endeavors.

In accord with the spirit and past practice of the Rousseau Association/Association Rousseau, submissions are welcome in a wide variety of fields including, but not limited to, political philosophy, philosophy, music, history, the history of ideas, eighteenth-century studies, history of science, literature, and religious studies.

            Proposals (title and short summary) in English or French, for papers (to be presented orally in 15-20 minutes) should be sent to the Conference Organizer, Eve Grace, preferably by email at, or by fax at 719-389-6586, or by mail to: Eve Grace, Political Science Department, Colorado College, 14 East Cache la Poudre, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 USA.

           The deadline for receipt of proposals is May 15, 2012. Proposals will be reviewed by the Steering Committee (Professors Eve Grace, Christopher Kelly, Ourida Mostefai, and John Scott), and a decision will be communicated by June 15th. A preliminary program for the conference will be available in September 2012.

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