This study on the contemporary relevance of Rousseau's ethical and social thought, the "ethic of authenticity," responds to the tensions of modern morality and rivals the answers generated by the more mainstream tradition of the "ethic of autonomy. "
Alessandro Ferrara is Professor of Sociology at the University of Rome.
"This book is an original analysis of the idea of authenticity in Rousseau's work in particular and in the tradition of modern ethics in general. It begins with an overview of the persistent critique by contemporary conservatives of the notion of authenticity. Ferrara succeeds in bringing out the relevance of Rousseau to current discussions of modernity and postmodernity. It also brings some initial clarity and coherence to an idea—authenticity—that is notoriously slippery and regarded suspiciously by many. " — Stephen K. White, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
"I know of no study on Rousseau like this. It is indeed useful and important. Ferrara locates Rousseau in the context of the contemporary discussion of ethics and links him with the modern as well as the classic discussions of ethics. It is also readable. " — David A. Rasmussen, Boston College