Rousseau study guide

Rousseau study guide - Rousseau study guide How corrupt we...

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Rousseau study guide How corrupt we are: The Sciences and the Arts (pp 1-21) 1. What is the historical context in which Rousseau writes his Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts? a. Minority of opinion that technology is bad b. Europe is barbaric, fall of Constantinople c. 1750 2. How does Rousseau explain the origins of the pursuit of knowledge? a. Defects in something b. pride 3. How is the pursuit of knowledge linked to power? a. Increase knowledge = increase in power = increase in corruption 4. According to Rousseau, to what purposes or for what ends has power been used in most of human history? a. To conquer 5. How does the misuse of power corrupt societies? a. To much emphasis on luxury 6. What are the manifestations of corruption? a. Everything that is most disgraceful in debauchery and corruption treasons, assassinations, the blackest poisons The origins of corruption: Discourse on Inequality (pp. 33-81) 1. Why does Rousseau believe that we must understand “natural man” in order to understand “social man?” a. Understand the original differences b. Need it to know what are natural laws c. Tell what is different b/w present state and nautral state 2. What does Rousseau think is wrong with “state of nature” arguments? a. Only 1 natural state b. To Rousseau, natural man is more or less like any other animal, where "self- preservation being his chief and almost sole concern" and "the only goods he recognizes in the universe are food, a female, and sleep 3. How does his argument about “natural man” differ from others in the social contract tradition? a. Examines if there was a state of nature at all b. Not particular to one race or place or time c. Concerns what the human race could have become d. Pitiful towards others e. Do what is good for you, w/ as little harm to others 4. What are the characteristics of “natural man,” and what bearing do these have on social relations? a. Gentle
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b. Less stronger than other animals, less agile c. More intelligent d. Robust and unalterable temperament e. Man cares more for his own preservation but is sympathetic to others 5. What are the characteristics of “social man,” and what is the origin of these characteristics? a. Lose ½ of qualities by coming into society b. Weak fearful and servile c. b/c we use tech. advances, ladder, sling shots, etc d. knowledge of death and terror e. originate from needs, intellect not found in animals f. unknowledgeable about natural instincts 6. Why does Rousseau think that it must have been the rich who were the “true founders of civil society?” a. Those who have something to lose/defend b. Those who want more of what they have 7. What is the substance of the argument that would have been used to justify the creation of civil society? a.
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This note was uploaded on 11/27/2011 for the course POLI 278 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '10 term at UNC.

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Rousseau study guide - Rousseau study guide How corrupt we...

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