The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


Nelson Lund, guest-blogging this week on Jean-Jacques Rousseau


I'm delighted to report that Prof. Nelson Lund (George Mason University School of Law) will be guest-blogging this week about his new book, "Rousseau's Rejuvenation of Political Philosophy: A New Introduction" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016):

Rousseau has been among the most influential modern philosophers, and among the most misunderstood. The first great philosophic critic of the Enlightenment, he sought to revive political philosophy as it was practiced by Plato, and to make it useful in the modern world. His understanding of politics rests on deep and often prescient reflections about the nature of the human soul and the relationship between our animal origins and the achievements of civilization.

This book seeks to demonstrate that Rousseau can help us think more clearly about many issues that are alive today, including the appropriate place of women in society, the viability of traditional family structures, the role of religion and religious freedom in nations that are becoming ever more secular, and the proper conduct of American constitutional government.

Prof. Lund has also written widely on constitutional law—including on constitutional interpretation, federalism, separation of powers, the Second Amendment, the Commerce Clause, the Speech or Debate Clause, the Equal Protection Clause and the Uniformity Clause—as well as on employment discrimination and civil rights, the legal regulation of medical ethics, and the economic analysis of legal institutions and legal ethics. He is the University Professor at the law school, and was for 10 years the Patrick Henry Professor of Constitutional Law and the Second Amendment. I'm very much looking forward to his posts!