Influential Genevan Philosopher: Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a very influential Genevan philosopher in the early 18th century. Rousseau believed that man was born equal however society and advancements in mankind created inequality. Furthermore, Rousseau states that there are two different types of inequality; the first inequality being natural inequality, which is established by nature and consists in the difference of physical features and qualities of mind, and the second being political inequality, which depends on a kind of convection and is authorized by the consent of men. I agree with Rousseau’s argument that contemporary social relationships, such as monogamy, are not natural to human beings and that other forms of relationship would occur in other social arrangements, …show more content…
Rousseau argues that in nature, “a savage man’s body is the only instrument he knows, he employs it for a variety of purposes that, for lack of practice, ours are incapable of serving.” Rousseau immediately shows how society and civilization have decreased the nature of man because modern advancements have kept man from following natural physical improvements necessary for survival. Rousseau then explains how extreme inequality in our lifestyle exists when you look at distribution of labor and resources in society such as the excessive idleness among some, the excessive labor among others, the overly refined foods for the wealthy, and the lack of food for the poor. Humans are neither monogamous nor romantic and Rousseau states that “it is incontestable love itself, like all other passions, had acquired only in society that impetuous ardor which so often makes it lethal to men.” Finally, Rousseau asserts that society and civilization have removed mankind from its natural habitat with the introduction of language and abstract thought, both of which would not exist in …show more content…
Savage man could not deceive, depend, or desire material things because these concepts did not exist in the state of nature. In all actuality humans were only really forced to interact with each other in very limited situations and the most common being to reproduce. Rousseau states that “the savage lives in himself; the man accustomed to the ways of society is always outside himself and knows how to live only in the opinion of others.” Rousseau states that contemporary human relations are based on individual interests and not necessarily the well being of the individual unlike the social relationships the concept of self-preservation that dominates the state of

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