Sophie de Grouchy on the cost of domination in the Letters on Sympathy and two anonymous articles in Le Republicain
Political writings of eighteenth-century France have been so far mostly overlooked as a source of republican thought. Philosophers such as Condorcet actively promoted the ideal of republicanism in ways that can shed light on current debates. In this paper, I look at one particular source: Le Re´publicain, published in the summer 1791, focusing on previously unattributed articles by Condorcet’s wife and collaborator, Sophie de Grouchy. Grouchy, a philosopher in her own right, is beginning to be known for her Letters on Sympathy, a response to Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiment, which she published at the same time as her translation of that text into French. I argue, further, that in the texts, which I attribute to Grouchy, we can find the early development of a commercial republican theory, a belief, which is reflected in her discussion of the ‘cost’ of tyranny.