I don't know how well this article will appear to others, but I've decided (Despite what I said at Martins talk page) that I'm going to leave it as it is. His political thought is dealt with throughout the biography, but it probably doesn't do it justice. Others can chop and change what they want from it. I think a policy needs to be outlined for famous thinkers like these, its hard to get a mix of biography and philosophy. I would think that an article on a thinker should combine the two, and a more specified article be created at something like Political Thought of Rousseau. What do you all think? Denis Cavanagh 20:29, 7 May 2008 (CDT)
Well, the way that these sorts of articles are usually written for encyclopedias is fine. Typically, there is one section about biography and another section about the figure's thought; and there's nothing wrong with that. Articles can be written that intermix thought with life, but usually at the expense of the coherent presentation of a person's thought. There are some thinkers, like Wittgenstein, Leibniz, and Plato, who went through more or less definite "phases," and for such figures it might make sense to combine life and thought for such people, because scholars are particularly interested in how a person's thinking changes. For most, and I think this includes Rousseau (not that I am a Rousseau expert or anything), that's not really necessary.
Anyway, it is perfectly possible to discuss the facts of a person's life independently of his ideas. Definitely not everything about Rousseau's thinking can or should be included in a single article. I would make one long, meaty introductory article about Rousseau at Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and then elaborate different aspects of his philosophy under pages like Rousseau's political philosophy and Discourse on Inequality (Rousseau). --Larry Sanger 12:19, 8 May 2008 (CDT)
Also, the usual English language titles should be used for the book names--as they are in most scholarly discussions in English. --Larry Sanger 12:23, 8 May 2008 (CDT)