Miksi tutkia Rousseaun luontokäsitystä?

Why study Rousseau's conceptions of nature?

For some reason Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) is remembered as a philosopher of nature, even as a forerunner of environmentalist sentiments, even though nature or environment in the dominant sense of those words does not play an important part in the majority of his works. This article proposes that this perception of Rousseau hinges on the multiplicity of the meanings of the word 'nature' and the tendency to read conceptual unity behind it. An alternative perspective of interpretation is proposed, one that takes this multiplicity seriously and approaches the meanings of 'nature' from the viewpoint of language use. It can teach us not only to understand Rousseau better but also to recognize how transitions of meaning are used both in philosophical and everyday discourse.

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