Here we see a combination of the metaphysical, ontological, and political dimensions [of Rousseau's Platonic affiliation]: the commitment to transcendent ideas as the ultimate authority for moral and political arguments. (xxvii)What Williams calls Rousseau's Platonic affiliation is presented as encompassing matters epistemic, faith in god, the immaterial soul, and freedom of the will, but not an institutional affinity -- at least not in this initial presentation. His use of 'Platonic' includes Plato himself and those whom Williams quite reasonably assigns to a Platonic tradition including St Augustine, Ficino, Descartes, Leibniz and Malebranche. Williams does not differentiate between Platonic and neo-Platonic. He also bluntly nails his own Platonist colours to the mast in what might be called his "so what?" moment, where he gestures towards the beneficial wealth-generating aspects of materialism, but despairs over the ethical vacuum that results in undergraduate cheating on exams, performance enhancing drugs, corporate plunder, and genocide. . . . Read the rest here: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=13389.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Leddy, Neven. "Review of David Wiliams' ROUSSEAU'S PLATONIC ENLIGHTENMENT." NDPR June 28, 2008.
Williams, David Lay. Rousseau's Platonic Enlightenment. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 2007. Williams' thesis is that Rousseau shared with Plato a philosophical dependence on immaterial concepts, which he elaborates on the preface: