By Jeremiah Alberg (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Reinterpretation of Rousseau: A Religious System
Even with this simple petition, Rousseau is “very certain” that this “favor (grace)” will not be granted “Everything Relates to That First Accusation” 21 to him, so he retreats into silence and surrenders to providence (CW 1:2; Pl. 1:659). Why is this considered a grace, and why is he so certain that it will not be bestowed? It does not seem like such a difficult request, and certainly many readers have fulﬁlled it. So again, why the explicit request and the certainty of refusal? Rousseau is not asking the reader simply to let his eyes fall on each page or to sound out every word.
Jean-Jacques himself understands no more than I do” (CW 1:169; Pl. 1:878). Up until this point, it was the conspiracy itself that was characterized as an abyss in which Jean-Jacques was kept imprisoned in darkness. Rousseau does not intend this simply to mean that part of the conspiracy is to hide that there is a conspiracy. ”16 He no longer knows if there is one other person besides himself who is just. ” Jean-Jacques’ attempt to interpret the behavior of others ends in an abyss of darkness. He is lost.
The Frenchman’s sin is an injustice against Jean-Jacques in that he has defamed Jean-Jacques. The text explicitly raises the question of whether the Frenchman and Jean-Jacques will ever be reconciled. , he turned out on the contrary to be a simple, sensitive, and good man, whose innocence—universally recognized by the very people who treat him with such indignity—forced you to give him back your esteem and to reproach yourself for the harsh judgments you made of him. Look deep in your heart and tell me how you would be affected by this change.
A Reinterpretation of Rousseau: A Religious System by Jeremiah Alberg (auth.)