rosseau - Jean Jacques Rosseau - Positive Freedom Jean...

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Jean Jacques Rosseau - Positive Freedom Jean Jacques Rosseau 1712-1778 Challenged accepted wisdom of his day Considered a major contributor to the French Revolution From Geneva, Switzerland – on his own at a young age Education cut short for financial reasons Jobs included engineer, engraver, teacher, composer, civil servant, etc. Counter-Enlightenment – desire to replace reason and science with passion and sentiment His ideas were not well received in many parts of Europe Rosseau’s Method Leaves many paradoxes unresolved Adopts ancient values – but believes that feeling should be above reason Organic / state is an organism – rather than 17 th century emphasis on the individual One can force people to be free Human Nature and the State of Nature Humans are born with two instinctual characteristics Desire for self-preservation Compassion / pity for others Four stages in the progress of human affairs Primitive Aboriginal Transitional Liberated Primitive State of Human Affairs Man is born free No political or social institutions Innocent, lazy, apelike noble savage Life is solitary Act on our simple instinctive needs Self-sufficient No home, industry, speech or relations Only sex for procreation – then men and women go their separate ways Aboriginal – First Societies First stage of civilization Occurs when the first claim of property is made Simple property – people alienate their liberty for their own advantage
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Women are no longer self sufficient Compassion gets replaced with selfishness This is our “second nature” Civilization is not our “first nature” – but once we have it, there is no turning back Twin evils of civilization Private property Division of labor Locke’s justification for property is a lie Justify immoral social and economic inequality behind a smoke screen of legal equality Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains Force does not create a right – therefore we are not obligated to obey it
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PS 207 taught by Professor Watry during the Winter '08 term at N. Michigan.

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rosseau - Jean Jacques Rosseau - Positive Freedom Jean...

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