Judging a declaration : Condorcet, rights and the general will in 1789
French history, 2022, OnlineFirst
MCCRUDDEN ILLERT, Kathleen, Judging a declaration : Condorcet, rights and the general will in 1789, French history, 2022, OnlineFirst - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/74194
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
This article argues that a study of unpublished notes for a treatise on the Déclaration des droits, written by the marquis de Condorcet in 1789, offers an insight into a problem that has defined scholarship on the philosophe for decades: the tension between the competing ‘democratic’ and ‘elitist’ discourses in Condorcet’s political thought. In this manuscript we see a novel integration of the discourse of ‘general’ or ‘common’ will into Condorcet’s rightsthinking. Due to his fear that the debates in the National Assembly over the proposed Declaration of Rights during the summer of 1789 were undermining the ‘self-evident’ nature of Natural Rights and more specific rights that derived from them, I suggest that Condorcet was here experimenting with the legitimating languages of ‘volonté générale’ and ‘sens commun’. Although these notes remained unpublished, hints of Condorcet’s shift in thinking can nevertheless be seen in his published work of the same period.
Published online: 01 February 2022
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/74194
Full-text via DOI: 10.1093/fh/crab058
ISSN: 0269-1191; 1477-4542
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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