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Exactly how does it follow for Rousseau that when I and the rest of the citizenry deliberate under the conditions he prescribes in the Social Contract, if I disagree with the majority , I am in error ? The relevant passage is CS IV.2 : 'When in the popular assembly a law is proposed, what the people is asked is not exactly whether it accepts or rejects the proposal, but whether it is in conformity with the general will, which is its will. . . . When, therefore, the opinion that is contrary to my own prevails, this proves neither more nor less than that I was mistaken, and that what I thought to be the general will was not so.' That 'therefore' defeats me.

  • I think Rousseau is saying that the majority can't invalidate his opinion, only his belief that the majority supported his opinion. In other words "X is the right thing to do and most people know it" changes to "X is the right thing to do (regardless of what most people think)". – barrycarter Nov 25 '17 at 14:54
  • @barrycarter. Thanks for comment. I will need to think it over. Much appreciated. – Geoffrey Thomas Dec 17 '17 at 12:02

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