By Jeremiah Alberg (auth.)
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This too has to be explained. THE TWO WORLDS With Jean-Jacques on one side and “everyone” else on the other side, it is no surprise that the world of the Dialogues is divided. At the very beginning of the “First Dialogue,” Rousseau asks the Frenchman to “picture (Figurez-vous) an ideal world” (CW 1:9; Pl. 1:668). The main difference of this world, which is “similar to ours, yet altogether different,” is that its inhabitants “have the good fortune to be maintained by nature, to which they are more attached, in that happy perspective in which nature placed us all, and because of this alone their soul forever maintains its original “Everything Relates to That First Accusation” 29 character” (CW 1:9; Pl.
Having answered the question of who we are and where we came from, Rousseau turns ﬁnally to the question of what to do. If scandal is the source of the system, then one needs a continual source of scandal to keep the system going. Rousseau provides his readers with such a source in the Discourse on the Sciences and Arts. As demonstrated in Chapter 9, Rousseau sets up a logic of scandal that virtually assures the reader’s getting caught up in scandal regardless of whether he or she agrees or disagrees with him.
1:779). In the end, Hume appears to the public as a generous benefactor for having a portrait made by such a famous painter, but he appears to Jean-Jacques as the one who gave him “the face of a fearsome Cyclops” (CW 1:91; Pl. 1:780). ” (CW 1:91–92; Pl. 1:780). Rousseau responds that “the face in the portrait” would assure him of the truth of the story: “On the question at hand, this face will not lie” (CW 1:92; Pl. 1:780). The question at hand is whether the portrait accentuates Jean-Jacques’ best features or shows him in an unﬂattering light.
A Reinterpretation of Rousseau: A Religious System by Jeremiah Alberg (auth.)