Thursday, 3 March 2016

Thought 145: The French Revolution's Philosophical Trinity

The three thinkers of the French Revolution's philosophical reality that can be seen as encapsulating a three-part dialectic may be named as follows:
  1. Jean-Jacques Rousseau as the thesis (stated in The Social Contract), the work and spirit of whom animated the French Revolution's soul as well as its most classic representative Maximilien de Robespierre.
  2. Edmund Burke as the anti-thesis, whose Reflections on the Revolution in France were a typical English jibe at their French, continental neighbours' idealistic politicising, giving a voice to the Conservative tradition in the United Kingdom which has so often defined itself against the French example.
  3. Thomas Paine as the synthesis highlighting the limitations of Burke's conservatism and Rousseau's tyrannical passion by cooly explaining and understanding Natural Law principles that offer a moral compass to the human condition in his treatise Rights of Man.