Analysis Of Jean Jacques Rousseau 's Discourse On The Origin Of Inequality

1511 Words Sep 23rd, 2016 7 Pages
Improving Human Society
Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, examines the problem with modern political institutions. He attempts to demonstrate how the progression of human reason leads to the corruption of human virtue, and the establishment of modern moral inequality. Rousseau argues that the state of nature is more effective for preserving human society, because humans are able to live equally under the natural sentiments of pity and compassion. Rousseau’s argument for human equality would disapprove of the advances in modern day science and technology. He believes that humans would be more compliant in society, if they remained inarticulate animals or simple savages.
In Part I of the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Rousseau examines how savage man is more driven to preserve society, because his desires do not go beyond his most basic physical needs. He states, “for one can desire or fear things only by virtue of the ideas one can have of them, or from the simple impulse of nature; and savage man, deprived of every sort of enlightenment, feels only the passion of this latter sort. His desires do not go beyond his physical needs. The only goods he knows in the universe are nourishment, a woman and rest; the only evils he fears are pain and hunger”(Rousseau, 26). Rousseau discusses that savage man has no other physical needs than his passions which derive from nature and include: food, rest, and sex. Since savage man’s desires do not…

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