This book deals with the role and place of the general will in modern and contemporary political thought. This project is carried out at the crossroads of the history of ideas and political philosophy. It extensively develops historical and philosophical themes, showing modifications to the idea of the general will in the writings of thinkers who sometimes represent very distant epochs. The author tracks down the birth and the development of the idea of the general will in ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary times, devoting most of the book to the thoughts of Jean Jacques Rousseau and nineteenth and twentieth century British idealists.
Keywords: General will, politics, political theory, political thought, political philosophy, Rousseau, British idealism, Diderot, Pascal, Malebranche, Montesquieu, natural law, community, individualism, apriorism, contractualism, theories of the first look, contextualism, bradley, Bosanquet, moral duties, Green, teleologism, historicism, moral ideal, duty, universal will, posivitism, jusnaturalism, muirhead, Hetherington, Hobhouse, Hobson, liberalism, communitarianism, liberal communitarianism, rights, common good, relativism, universalism, negative freedom, individualism