Exemples et modèles politiques : fonction critique de l'Antiquité chez Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Abstract : This dissertation conducts a systematic examination of Jean-Jacques Rousseau 's representation of Antiquity and provides a new interpretation of its meaning. Rousseau's lifelong interest in ancient Greece and Rome has so far been interpreted mainly as a personal myth, rooted in his emotional identification with examples of civic virtue. Challenging this interpretation, I analyze Rousseau's vision of Antiquity as a carefully constructed representatio n that seeks to answer key questions of early modern political thought. As he constructs his political system, Rousseau considers ancient material through a complex web of mediations, which alter his representation of Antiquity . The admiration for great men inherited from his childhood reading of Plutarch quickly turns into the construction of dynamic political models. Rousseau draws on ancient historical examples, as weil as on Plato's and Aristotle's political philosophy, to articulate his own definition of key modern political concepts such as sovereignty and body politic. In Rousseau's view ancient cities were politically successful because they fully understood the fundamental connection between anthropology and politics, placing the moral education of the citizens at the core of political action. Studying examples of ancient cities thus becomes indispensable not only to define a truly legitimate political structure, but also to design methods and practices to make it last over ti me. In this respect, the Roman Republic, whose institutions more successfully faced the challenge of history, serves as a more significant political model than Sparta. Reassessing Rousseau's representation of Antiquity thus allows usto reevaluate the place of government in his political system.
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Flora Champy. Exemples et modèles politiques : fonction critique de l'Antiquité chez Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Littératures. Université de Lyon, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LYSEN028⟩. ⟨tel-01843426⟩

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