Volume 61, Issue 2, 2014
Tainova kritika společenské smlouvy
Taine devoted his whole work to the French Revolution. He was very critical of it. Part of the criticism focused on the role that the revolution played in the theory of social contract. This aspect of Taine’s work Původ současné Francie (The Beginnings of Contemporary France) is the focus of this paper. The autor analyzes Taine’s critique in general, above all the assumption of (mathematical) equality of people, and then focuses on the way that Taine assessed the application of social contract theory by revolutionary governments. The author claimes that Taine, in fact, only dealt with Rousseau’s version of the theory and when analyzing people’s equality ofter referred to a general habit of the French to think in abstraction. In some aspects his ideas resemble those of Tocqueville. In the final part the author focuses on Lacombe’s analysis of Taine’s views.