Scholars 2010

2010 Past - March Towards Democracy

Ascher Anat

Personal Details:
Tel Aviv University, Department of Philosophy

Title of Research:
"Inner-Discord: Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Politological Thought through Jacques Rancière's Conceptual Prism"

Summary of Research:

A vast part of the writing regarding the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau singles him out as one of the first democratic thinkers of modern age, as well as one of the first totalitarian thinkers of this epoch. Indeed, his philosophy supposedly contains some sort of a contradiction, two seemingly opposing potentials for political government. The attempt to explain this duality, this immanent dichotomy in his thought, was one of the main quandaries to be taken up by his commentators over the years. I believe that by interpreting Rousseau's thought in light of Jacques Rancière's philosophical method, I will be able to offer a new and innovative way for tackling this matter.

Therefore, the core of my study can be described as rethinking, through the contemporary eyes of Jacques Rancière, several aspects in the political thought of Rousseau. I intend to explore the nature of political action in Rousseau's writings, and to achieve a new and profound understanding of the image of the political person that is revealed in his thought. Furthermore, I will deal with an issue of great concern to both Rousseau and Rancière – that of education. I will maintain that by reading these two philosophies side by side, a new account of education can be suggested, one in which it can serve as a means for political and intellectual emancipation.