Rousseau’s (Political) Epistemology of Error

Jan Maršálek

Rousseau’s understanding of the sciences as well as his political philosophy were crucially linked to the problem of error, and subsequently the problem of uncertainty. The present paper starts from a critical analysis of Anna Deneys-Tunney 2010 monograph on Rousseau’s attitude to science and technology. The author’s own interpretation is largely based in a reading of the First Discourse, then projected into the interpretation of certain key elements of the Social Contract. This allows the present author to „return“ Rousseau into the context of the French Enlightenment, and to highlight Rousseau’s suggestion that „utility“ is an epistemic principle.