Rousseau - Megan Lawless Com L 114 Written Response...

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Megan Lawless Com L 114 September 17, 2007 Written Response on “Discourse on the Origin and the Foundations of Inequality Among Mankind” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau The main focus of Rousseau’s “Second Discourse” is to discuss the reasons for inequality among men. He begins by distinguishing between natural inequality (such as strength, intelligence, or age) and a different kind of inequality which was established by mankind. To discover the cause of this second kind of inequality, Rousseau discusses the state of things before civilization was established. He discusses the nature of savage man and the evolution of natural inequality into something more. This goes back to the discovery of tools, the building of huts, the establishing of families, and the beginnings of property. After the discovery of agriculture and metallurgy, land became divided and became property because of the work that man had put into it. Because men had different talents, the distribution of property was unequal. Those who could
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