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Hence, according to Neuhouser, Rousseau's structuring of the theme of amour-propre as a theodicy becomes manifest.
Nenhouser's focus on amour-propre allows him to smoothly bring unity to the whole or at least most of Rousseau's multi-faceted oeuvre: The Social Contract and Emile can then be understood as distinct moments of the solution to the problem of curbing the effects of the rampant amour-propre induced by the social arrangements of modern civil society.
He places amour-propre among the "natural vices: pride, the spirit of domination, amour-propre, the wickedness of man.
The only passion natural to man is amour de soi[-meme] (57) or amour-propre taken in an extended sense.
According to Rousseau, the problem that any society must address, then, is how to make it possible for men maddened by amour-propre, each of whom is seeking to be "the sole master of the universe," (20) to live together peacefully.
The only social tie in which amour-propre can find harmless and enduring satisfaction is the tie between man and woman.
Such is the portrait of amour-propre, whose whole life is one great long agitation: it may be likened unto the sea, the continual ebb and flow of whose waves is a faithful image of its turbulent succession of thoughts and restless movements.
Cooper argues that Emile's education for Sophie (and hers for him) tames amour-propre through their mutual affection and mutual recognition.