Class Notes (838,036)
Canada (510,626)
Brock University (12,132)
Philosophy (259)
PHIL 1F91 (53)
Lecture

Hegel vs Rousseau

9 Pages
122 Views
Unlock Document

Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1F91
Professor
David Hayes
Semester
Fall

Description
19/04/2012 1 ROUSSEAU AND HEGEL Two of the most controversial and disliked of all European thinkers. Also two of the most admired and influential of all European thinkers! 2 JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU [1712-1778] INTRODUCTION Rousseau is usually seen as an anti-enlightenment figure To be more precise, as Lopstpn puts it he downplays reason and emphasizes the HEArt [ie. passions, feelings or emotions] over the HEAd. He is not alone in this. David Hume developed similar ideas in Scotland as we shall see. 3 ROUSSEAUS INTRODUCTION ROUSSEAUs INTRODUCTION [219-21] KEY IDEA: Two types of Inequality: 1. Natural [phusis]: age, health, bodily strength, mental and spiritual? [Rousseau says soul] 2. Conventional [nomos] political and economic privileges, being richer, more honored or powerful or able to make others obey you This distinction is the key to understanding almost everything Rousseau says 4 CONJECTURAL HISTORY Rousseau is really doing pre-history which in his day had to be mostly speculative since, by definition [and fact], documents are lacking. However science, reason and religion, does not forbid us to form conjectures, drawn from the nature of man and the beings surrounding him* It is therefore both a hypothetical and counter-factual history [and pre-history] * or as Popper put it nicely: Criticism curbs the imagination but does not put it in chains. 5 3 CONTROVERSIAL THESES Rousseau opened one book by saying: (1) Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains. (2) Later asserted that We must compel men to be free. (3) He also defended the idea called The Noble Savage. 6 WHAT TO LOOK FOR 1. A very optimistic view of human nature. We are born good not sadistic, selfish, sinful, sordid, suckers or sychophants. 2. A very pessimistic view of human society under so-called civilization. We have been corrupted by the true original sin, acquisition of private property and the ensuing great inequalities of wealth, income, privilege and power. [Think of the 1 (3) He also defended the idea called The Noble Savage. 19/04/2012 6 WHAT TO LOOK FOR 1. A very optimistic view of human nature. We are born good not sadistic, selfish, sinful, sordid, suckers or sychophants. 2. A very pessimistic view of human society under so-called civilization. We have been corrupted by the true original sin, acquisition of private property and the ensuing great inequalities of wealth, income, privilege and power. [Think of the extremely rich 1% and the rest of us poor or merely middle class 99%] BUT do NOT confine this to the contemporary world but to the past 5,000 years [at least maybe 10,000] almost everywhere in the world. And in the Malthusian world the vast majority of the 99% were poor or very poor. 7 FIRST PART [221-233] Rousseau covers the following topics all related, one way or another, to the major theme of gross inequality in modern, civilized societies [unlike pre-civilized societies]. 1. Humans and animals.* 2. Hobbes: why he is wrong. 3. Why savage life is better than ours. 4. Equality is too extreme in our society. 5. Our ills are our own dam fault. 6. We have not listened to Mother Nature. [not Rousseaus term] 7. Origins of private property, agriculture, language and great [unjustified] inequalities. * I refuse to use the now common terms humans and non-human animals. * 8 HUMANS, ANIMALS AND THE JUNGLE Rousseau says I see man as an animal less strong,less agilebutthe most advantageously organized [221] Hobbes: why he is wrong. He thinks he freedom of the state of nature is not worth having and giving it up benefits us Rousseau thinks the state of nature is better because we live a freer, simpler happier life. Finally inequality is too extreme in our so-called civilized society. 9 CRITIQUE OF MANDEVILLE The Fable of the Bees was a very interesting and controversial book in the early 18 century (p. 229) It was based on pure egoism and how it benefits society: private vices lead to public virtue. But even he recognized that nature gave us pity and compassion as well as reason and pure self-interest. 10 SECOND PART [233-240] Nice logically developed hypothetical but plausible account of pre-history Main point is that the originator of private property is the villain in this morality tale. 2 It was based on pure egoism and how it benefits society: private vices lead to public 19/04/2012 virtue. But even he recognized that nature gave us pity and compassion as well as reason and pure self-interest. 10 SECOND PART [233-240] Nice logically developed hypothetical but plausible account of pre-history Main point is that the originator of private property is the villain in this morality tale. Rousseau clearly sounds like a socialist here BUT Rousseau also formulates a version of the prisoners dilemma this time with positive sum game [234R par. 3] Property selfishness disruption of family life and a new division of labour. 11 THE TRUE ORIGINAL SIN First part, 233: wonderful opening line even if you disagree or are unsure. Then a provocative claim: the fruits [of earth] belong to all and the Earth to no one. Contrary to earlier Social Contract theories of Hobbes and Locke. Contrast with first real sin in the Bible: Cains fratricide followed by his founding the first city: the term, civilization, is from cives = city in Latin. Then Rousseau assumes no recognition of paternity while maternity be
More Less

Related notes for PHIL 1F91

Log In


OR

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit