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J.-J. Rousseau on Capital Punishment - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 279
Death Penalty/Rousseau/Höffe: The sovereign cannot bind anyone to [a certain] faith or belief. But anyone who rejects him may be banished, because in accordance with his understanding of the common will, Rousseau declares that whoever inhabits the territory of the state submits to the sovereignty that prevails there. One is banished not because one is godless, but because one "resists to be with one another"(1).
But anyone who publicly acknowledges the dogmas of the bourgeois creed, but then violates them, deserves the death penalty, since, Rousseau claims, he has committed the greatest of all crimes: He lied before the law.


1. Rousseau, The Social Contract (Du contrat social ou Principes du droit politique), 1762, IV, 8


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Rousseau I
J. J. Rousseau
Les Confessions, 1765-1770, publ. 1782-1789
German Edition:
The Confessions 1953

Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-08-01
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