Rousseau and Nietzsche: “The politics of the proper name” Eva D. Bahovec Summary:
Summary: The paper presents Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the problem of the unity of his work. The Rousseau as the author of the social contract and the modern theory of education is related to the Rousseau of confessions; in this context, the importance of autobiography as a political category is discussed. The second part of the paper focuses on comparing the life, work, and autobiography of Rousseau and Nietzsche with special attention to their place in the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, respectively; the main target of the study is their common problem of how to face the corrupt nature of human civilization, and how to use education as a remedy, along with the way each one inscribed himself and his proper name in philosophy. The paper then focuses upon Rousseau’s Enlightenment claim for transparency and self-transparency, and relates his claim to Nietzsche, to his claim for self-overcoming, and to what Derrida defines as his politics of the proper name. The paper concludes with a broader comparison of Rousseau, Nietzsche, and Derrida in relation to the question of how “the personal” should become “the political” precisely through education.