Rousseau critiques certain basic assumptions made by his society

Rousseau critiques - Zabrina Maultsby 10674 Intro to Philosophy Phil 1301 CRN Rousseau critiques certain basic assumptions made by his society

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Zabrina Maultsby November 17, 2009 Intro to Philosophy Phil 1301 CRN: 10674 Rousseau critiques certain basic assumptions made by his society. Rousseau critiques the moral benefits of civilization. Provide an exegesis of his criticism. What solutions does he propose? Clearly explain how these solutions will address the shortcomings of his society. Civilization can be defined as the state of condition of persons living and functioning together, jointly, cooperatively so that they produce and experience the benefits of so living and functioning jointly and cooperatively. Based on this definition we can presume that every person who lives within a civilized society benefits from its moral construct. However, Rousseau, in his text, “Discourse on the Origin of Inequality”, challenges this assumption and critiques the moral benefits of civilization. He argues that the morality imposed by being a member of a civilized society creates inequalities amongst mankind. Rousseau’s centralized critique is that although a civilized society is perceived to be a benefit to mankind, it actually corrupts the pure, compassionate individualistic man and summons the ambitious, competitive, interdependent man. Rousseau builds a compelling dissertation on the creation of these inequalities; beginning with the dissolution of mans original state of nature to the construction of social institutions and the morals which currently govern. This essay is intended to analyze Rousseau’s criticisms in depth and discuss some of his proposed solutions that will address the inadequacies of these social constructs. Rousseau in his critique describes two kinds of inequalities in humans; one being a natural or physical inequality and the other being a moral or political inequality. The natural or physical inequality is established by nature in the sense of “difference of age, health, bodily strength, and qualities of mind or soul” (pg. 38, Rousseau). In this state, while there were many differences in comparison man did not compare themselves with each other or recognize variation. Man had minimal desires other than basic survival the pursuit of material things and
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Zabrina Maultsby November 17, 2009
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This note was uploaded on 10/23/2010 for the course BIOL 2308 taught by Professor Boxer during the Spring '10 term at University of Houston - Downtown.

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Rousseau critiques - Zabrina Maultsby 10674 Intro to Philosophy Phil 1301 CRN Rousseau critiques certain basic assumptions made by his society

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