Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 9780226074030 Published April 2016
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On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life

Reflections on Rousseau's Rêveries in Two Books

Heinrich Meier

On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life

Heinrich Meier

Translated by Robert Berman
400 pages | 2 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2015
Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 9780226074030 Published April 2016
E-book $10.00 to $50.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226074177 Published April 2016
On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life presents Heinrich Meier’s confrontation with Rousseau’s Rêveries, the philosopher’s most beautiful and daring work, as well as his last and least understood. Bringing to bear more than thirty years of study of Rousseau, Meier unfolds his stunningly original interpretation in two parts. 
           
The first part of On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life approaches the Rêveries not as another autobiographical text in the tradition of the Confessions and the Dialogues, but as a reflection on the philosophic life and the distinctive happiness it provides. The second turns to a detailed analysis of a work referred to in the Rêveries, the “Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar,” which triggered Rousseau’s political persecution when it was originally published as part of Émile.  In his examination of this most controversial of Rousseau’s writings, which aims to lay the foundations for a successful nonphilosophic life, Meier brings to light the differences between natural religion as expressed by the Vicar and Rousseau’s natural theology. Together, the two reciprocally illuminating parts of this study provide an indispensable guide to Rousseau and to the understanding of the nature of the philosophic life.

“[A] dense but precise and enthralling analysis.”—New Yorker
 
Review Quotes
New Yorker
“[A] dense but precise and enthralling analysis.”.
Susan Meld Shell, Boston College
“Meier is deeply impressive in his mastery of Rousseau’s oeuvre. With On the Happiness of the Philosophic Life, he presents a startlingly original interpretation of one of Rousseau’s most beautiful and elusive works—the Reveries. His interpretation is sure to be controversial, but it is presented with an elegance, intensity, and thoroughness that will command the attention of all serious Rousseau scholars and those broadly interested in the history of political philosophy.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, praise for the German edition
“No one before Meier has described Rousseau’s philosophic ‘revolution’ with more plausibility and subtlety; his book sets a standard hardly surpassable over the long-term.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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