Discourse on the origin of inequality

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Oxford University Press, Feb 17, 1994 - Law - 127 pages
63 Reviews
InDiscourse on the Origin of Inequality, Rousseau argues that inequalities of rank, wealth, and power are the inevitable result of the civilizing process. His sweeping account of humanity's social and political development epitomizes the innovative boldness of the Enlightenment, and it is one of the most provocative and influential works of the eighteenth century. This new translation by prize-winning translator Franklin Philip includes all of Rousseau's own notes, and Patrick Coleman's introduction builds on recent key scholarship, considering particularly the relationship between political and aesthetic thought.

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Review: Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

User Review  - Cassandra - Goodreads

Rousseau argues that man is born free and society enslaves us. A powerful and insightful exploration of the development and perpetuation of inequality in human society. Read full review

Review: Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

User Review  - Josh Friedlander - Goodreads

Civilization is, like, way overrated, maaan. Read full review

Contents

DISCOURSE ON THE ORIGIN
1
Preface
14
Remark about the Notes 2 0
20
Copyright

3 other sections not shown

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About the author (1994)

Jean Jacques Rousseau was a Swiss philosopher and political theorist who lived much of his life in France. Many reference books describe him as French, but he generally added "Citizen of Geneva" whenever he signed his name. He presented his theory of education in Emile (1762), a novel, the first book to link the educational process to a scientific understanding of children; Rousseau is thus regarded as the precursor, if not the founder, of child psychology. "The greatest good is not authority, but liberty," he wrote, and in The Social Contract (1762) Rousseau moved from a study of the individual to an analysis of the relationship of the individual to the state: "The art of politics consists of making each citizen extremely dependent upon the polis in order to free him from dependence upon other citizens." This doctrine of sovereignty, the absolute supremacy of the state over its members, has led many to accuse Rousseau of opening the doors to despotism, collectivism, and totalitarianism. Others say that this is the opposite of Rousseau's intent, that the surrender of rights is only apparent, and that in the end individuals retain the rights that they appear to have given up. In effect, these Rousseau supporters say, the social contract is designed to secure or to restore to individuals in the state of civilization the equivalent of the rights they enjoyed in the state of nature. Rousseau was a passionate man who lived in passionate times, and he still stirs passion in those who write about him today.

Benjamin Constant (1767-1831) Margaret Mauldon has translated several French novels for OWC including Zola's L'Assommoir, Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma, and Huysmans, Against Nature, winner of the Scott-Moncrieff prize 1999. Patrick Coleman has edited Rousseau's Discourse on Inequality and
Confessions for OWC.

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