Rousseau-jing

Rousseau-jing - Rousseau 1. Describe the three stages in...

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Rousseau 1. Describe the three stages in Rousseau's conjecture of human beings (the beginning, the latest, and the best middle stage). According to Rousseau, there are three stages in the development of human beings. The first stage is a stage when humans are animal=like and act on certain instincts. Their man purpose is for self-preservation and so they eat, sleep, find warmth, and respond to their physical attractions for reproduction. People in the earliest stage are not malicious or jealous, but rather malleable and can take on traits they acquire. The second stage is the golden age, where people form families and households and small communities. They learn to love and develop language. This period soon changes and people learn to self- love and become materialistic and gain too much pride. Property and possessions then become unevenly distributed and there is a rift among people as social classes are distinguished. In the third and latest stage, there are two classes, a poor class and a rich class. The development of envy, spite, and anger take place and people are forced to develop government through social contract to regulate the two classes. 2. Why did the poorest class agree to the social contract? The poorest class enslaved themselves because they were duped by the richer class. They did not understand the terms of the contract and were tricked into entering into the social contract. The poor are inferior in education and were of "slavish mentality" when they were tricked into entering the contract. 3. What was the outcome? Were genuine obligations a result? The outcome of the social contract was that people were split into two distinct social classes, and the gap between the two only grew bigger because the poor were duped into a social contract that favored the rich. Genuine obligations were not a result because both classes consented to the social contract but one class was inferior in education and were duped, making the obligations not genuine.
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4. Paraphrase the aim of the Social Contract in the first paragraph of page 293.
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2012 for the course POLI 271 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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Rousseau-jing - Rousseau 1. Describe the three stages in...

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