PAR101DWA9and10 - Richard Vasquez Section 2 February 4 2013...

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Richard Vasquez Section 2 February 4, 2013 The first book of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract and Discourses states its purpose on the first page: “I mean to inquire if, in civil order, there can be any[…]legitimate rule of administration.” With this aim, Rousseau argues conventions in society and how they apply to the social compact. He notes that slavery is a convention, but an empty one based on the supposed “right” of force (which he disproves). The law of majority is also a convention, which requires unanimity. This one is supported because the majority is still comprised of members of the whole who, therefore, in being bound to each other, must function in the best interest of the entire community. His conclusion and overall argument, therefore, is made clear in the final sentence: “instead of destroying natural inequality, the fundamental compact substitutes[…]equality that is moral and legitimate, and that men[…]become everyone equal by convention and legal right.”
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