PHIL 1F91 Lecture Notes - Win-Win Game, Morality Play, Counterfactual History

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19 Apr 2012
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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!
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.
ROUSSEAU’S INTRODUCTION
ROUSSEAU’s 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
“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”.
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”.
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.
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 Rousseau’s 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”. *
HUMANS, ANIMALS AND THE JUNGLE
Rousseau says “I see man as an animal less strong…,less agile…but…the 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.
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.
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 prisoner’s dilemma this time with positive
sum game [234R par. 3]
Property selfishness disruption of family life and a new division of labour.
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: Cain’s 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 became
irrelevant sooner than under civilization.
A QUASI-GEOPOLITICAL DETERMINISM
Importance of climate and physical conditions in shaping human nature and
behaviour [233R-2]
Evolution of fishing, hunting, and war
Humans become aware of their superiorityto the animals: the beginnings of
speciesism.
THE EMERGENCE OF EGOTISM AND EGOISM
Notice the key difference!
First shown in our attitude to animals. [233R-3]
Then the emergence of egoism which is (unlike Rand) not natural: it follows the
emergence of property and the “division of labour” [234-2]
Also anticipates problem of co-operation as positive-sum Prisoners dilemma.
THE EMERGENCE OF KIN ALTRUISM
The new situation lead to “the epoch of a first revolution, …the establishment and
differentiation of families.conjugal and paternal love [234 R-2]
However jealousy also awakens with love [235R-1]
In between these theses he suggests this was when language came into being
ANOTHER SOURCE OF INEQUALITY
Different talents and abilities are also sources of inequality [235 R-2]
The one who is “the handsomest, ..strongest….most adroit or most eloquent” or
who sings and dances best becomes more highly regarded “first step toward
inequality and… vice”
At the same time our self-interest and reason together make us aware of our need
for co-operation and help as well as the need to fear harm from other humans as
well as from animals next PP
A PRIMITIVE SOCIAL CONTRACT
We invented moral rules and laws for the sake of self-protection this leads to the
need for sanctions including punishments
The rise of more crime fiercer more inhumane punishments
18th Century saw the beginnings in most of Europe to reform of penal law in more
humanitarian direction.
THE GREAT LEAP BACKWARDS
The techological breakthrough of what is now called “The Neo-lithic* Revolution [Cir
8,000-10,000 BCE] involving the invention of agriculture.
JUSTICE AND PROPERTY[237]
In both Hobbes and Locke as well as Hume later there is an axiom: “Without
property there is no justice or injustice”. Part of the rationale for this is the view that
one’s body and mind are their own property to be used as they wish
* “Neo-lithic” = new stone i.e. New Stone Age. *
NICE SUMMARY 239L P-3
1. New fetters for week, new forces to rich
2. Destroyed natural freedom.
3. Established law of Property and inequality
4 . Subject whole of humanity to work, servitude and misery.
5. Savage and civilized [239]
FINAL PARAGRAPH
Is relying on Reason alone he says for all his claims:
1. Inequality is almost zero in state of nature
2. It emerges only with property and laws
3. Moral inequality is contrary to Natural Right “whenever it is not combined in the
same proportion with physical inequality”
4. Present system contrary to Nature Law especially when a handful of gluttons co-
exist with starving multitudes.
GEORG W. F. HEGEL [1770-1831]
Born the same year as Ludwig von Beethoven and one year later than Napoleon.
Is this just trivia or important?
The main common theme as with almost all Europeans is the effect of the French
Revolution[s] and its (their) aftermath.
Another equally (in fact more) important but less visible revolutions was also
occurring: The Industrial Revolution. Together they would revolutionize politics, the
European economies and society.
THE KEYS TO HEGEL*S PHILOSOPHY
HISTORY
FREEDOM
GEIST = GERMAN FOR *freedom*
Two terms relevant to ethics and human nature: moralitat (easy to translate so ….)
and
sittlichkeit
the notion of a morally community with embedded moral rules and a
given history and a set of practises.
KEY IDEAS IN HN
The idea of duty and rights
The Family
The Civil Society
The State Constitution
Property, Poverty and Patrimony
PHILOSOPHY OF RIGHT*
Provocative opening sentence: 142: Ethical life is the Idea of Freedom
Best explained by 149 (247) in duty the individual finds his liberation in 2 ways
1) is very clear but 2) is typically opaque Heglelenese
1 involves liberation from mere natural impulse (the lower part of our nature as
almost all writers so far studied argue as well)
2) liberation from indeterminate subjectivity, which means
To explain this we need to distinguish subjectivity, from objectivity, and subject from
object,
* note: not The Philosophy of Rights
OBJECT AND SUBJECT
In Hegel elsewhere the object is the thing in itself whereas the subject is the thing
for itself . The thing in itself is real and so is the thing for itself but in very
different senses since the latter has consciousness but the former does not.
He uses very simple examples: 146 (246) the sun, moon, mountains, rivers and all
other natural objects
are.
But we humans not only
are
we
are
conscious subjects not
just objects and thus are aware of both these non-conscious natural objects and
other human conscious and self-conscious subjects.
SITTLICHKEIT, CUSTOM AND TRADITION
151 p. 248: this is extremely important as both a comment on how we learn
morality but also on human nature especially in the context of radical changes
during the FR*
By radical changes I mean both those put into practise and those proposed that
were not then or only later tried.
We learn our morality not by reason, emotion or a social contract but by custom,
tradition and habit.
* FR = French Revolution (1789-1799 OR 1804 0R 1815 OR ……
THE ULTIMATE PARADOX OF HN
1. Humans desire change and progress BUT
2. Humans also desire custom and the simplicity of traditional rules.
The real importance of Hegel*s complicated and verbose discussion is the difference
between
moralitat
that of the individual and the morality of
Sittlichkeit,
the
community.
THE IDEA OF DUTY AND RIGHTS
155 (249) one standard view of duties and rights i.e. they coalesce i.e. They
logically entail or imply each other. A man has rights insofar as he has duties and
vice versa.
But there are actually at least 2 views.
The Hegelian view is that they are correlative that is if R implies D then D implies R
and vice versa.
However some see them as asymmetrical. That is R implies D BUT D does not
imply R.
I obvious example: if Kate is a mother then Kate is a female but: If Kate is a female
it does NOT follow that Kate is a mother.
THE FAMILY
SUB-SECTION I (249)
Has a very human, down to earth theory unusual for him and most philosophers
who tend to ignore the family as if it were unimportant.
Divided into 3 sections:
1. Marriage
2. Family Property and Capital
3. The Education of Children
While basing the family on love he has a strange definition of love: mind*s feeling of
its own unity
HOW MEN AND WOMEN DIFFER
166: after a verbose introduction it turns our then the male is powerful and active,
the latter passive and subjective.
It has to be based on mutual free consent as it definitely has NOT been elsewhere
and always.
It is not based on either instinctive sexual impulses or as a legal contract (168, par
2) p. 252.
CHILDREN HAVE RIGHTS
Children have the right to maintenance and education from the family capital. (174)
They are potentially free. (175) Hegel totally rejects the old Roman view of absolute
paternal despotism: treating children as slaves.
They become persons in their own right once they are educated to freedom of
personality (254, 177) and come of age.
Divorce allowed if and only if estrangement of both is total. That would rule out a
lot of silly Hollywood divorces! (176)
THE CIVIL SOCIETY
SUB-SECTION II (254)
Skip from 182 to188
256 (188) 3 moments of Civil Society:
(A) The System of Needs.
(B) Administration of Justice.
(C) Provision against contingencies.
(A) THE SYSTEM OF NEEDS.
Starts with Political economy , one of the sciences emerging from the modern world
and mentions 3 key figures: Adam Smith, David Ricardo J.B. Say
And one major term to be used abused and misused over and over and over………….
bourgeois
or the burgher as he calls him
Marx was to make a really big deal about the huge difference between well off
bourgeois
and miserable proletariat.
Hegel rejects both Hobbes and Rousseau on freedom in the state of nature: 257
(194R last para)
CAPITAL, CLASS, AND INEQUALITY
Hegel has perhaps a more realistic view of 19th class division than Marx did later
See (202) 259: 3 classes: 1. Agricultural class;
2. Formal or business class
3 Universal class = civil servants
Also disagrees with Rousseau although he recognizes the 2 types of inequality:
(200) 258-59 extremely profound whether correct or not.
(B) ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
Hegel also recognizes the conflict between producers and consumers (236)262
something class theories such as Marx tend to ignore or downplay.
He also recognizes the need for society to provide for public education and charity or
welfare:
(242), 263: Hegel wisely rejects the idea that the problem of poverty be left either
solely to private charity or to those regulations that are obligatory.
(C) PROVISION AGAINST CONTINGENCIES.
While he opposes the egalitarian measures of socialism, communism and anarchism
he thinks concentration of disproportionate wealth in a few hand is bad.
He sees the other end also--- too few consumers with enough money since they are
not producers.
He finishes by recommending a careful examination of contemporary English policy
for dealing with such problems.
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19/04/2012
2
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!
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.
ROUSSEAU’S INTRODUCTION
ROUSSEAU’s 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
“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”.
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”.
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.
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 Rousseau’s 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”. *
HUMANS, ANIMALS AND THE JUNGLE
Rousseau says “I see man as an animal less strong…,less agile…but…the 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.
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.
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 prisoner’s dilemma this time with positive
sum game [234R par. 3]
Property selfishness disruption of family life and a new division of labour.
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: Cain’s 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 became
irrelevant sooner than under civilization.
A QUASI-GEOPOLITICAL DETERMINISM
Importance of climate and physical conditions in shaping human nature and
behaviour [233R-2]
Evolution of fishing, hunting, and war
Humans become aware of their superiorityto the animals: the beginnings of
speciesism.
THE EMERGENCE OF EGOTISM AND EGOISM
Notice the key difference!
First shown in our attitude to animals. [233R-3]
Then the emergence of egoism which is (unlike Rand) not natural: it follows the
emergence of property and the “division of labour” [234-2]
Also anticipates problem of co-operation as positive-sum Prisoners dilemma.
THE EMERGENCE OF KIN ALTRUISM
The new situation lead to “the epoch of a first revolution, …the establishment and
differentiation of families.conjugal and paternal love [234 R-2]
However jealousy also awakens with love [235R-1]
In between these theses he suggests this was when language came into being
ANOTHER SOURCE OF INEQUALITY
Different talents and abilities are also sources of inequality [235 R-2]
The one who is “the handsomest, ..strongest….most adroit or most eloquent” or
who sings and dances best becomes more highly regarded “first step toward
inequality and… vice”
At the same time our self-interest and reason together make us aware of our need
for co-operation and help as well as the need to fear harm from other humans as
well as from animals next PP
A PRIMITIVE SOCIAL CONTRACT
We invented moral rules and laws for the sake of self-protection this leads to the
need for sanctions including punishments
The rise of more crime fiercer more inhumane punishments
18th Century saw the beginnings in most of Europe to reform of penal law in more
humanitarian direction.
THE GREAT LEAP BACKWARDS
The techological breakthrough of what is now called “The Neo-lithic* Revolution [Cir
8,000-10,000 BCE] involving the invention of agriculture.
JUSTICE AND PROPERTY[237]
In both Hobbes and Locke as well as Hume later there is an axiom: “Without
property there is no justice or injustice”. Part of the rationale for this is the view that
one’s body and mind are their own property to be used as they wish
* “Neo-lithic” = new stone i.e. New Stone Age. *
NICE SUMMARY 239L P-3
1. New fetters for week, new forces to rich
2. Destroyed natural freedom.
3. Established law of Property and inequality
4 . Subject whole of humanity to work, servitude and misery.
5. Savage and civilized [239]
FINAL PARAGRAPH
Is relying on Reason alone he says for all his claims:
1. Inequality is almost zero in state of nature
2. It emerges only with property and laws
3. Moral inequality is contrary to Natural Right “whenever it is not combined in the
same proportion with physical inequality”
4. Present system contrary to Nature Law especially when a handful of gluttons co-
exist with starving multitudes.
GEORG W. F. HEGEL [1770-1831]
Born the same year as Ludwig von Beethoven and one year later than Napoleon.
Is this just trivia or important?
The main common theme as with almost all Europeans is the effect of the French
Revolution[s] and its (their) aftermath.
Another equally (in fact more) important but less visible revolutions was also
occurring: The Industrial Revolution. Together they would revolutionize politics, the
European economies and society.
THE KEYS TO HEGEL*S PHILOSOPHY
HISTORY
FREEDOM
GEIST = GERMAN FOR *freedom*
Two terms relevant to ethics and human nature: moralitat (easy to translate so ….)
and
sittlichkeit
the notion of a morally community with embedded moral rules and a
given history and a set of practises.
KEY IDEAS IN HN
The idea of duty and rights
The Family
The Civil Society
The State Constitution
Property, Poverty and Patrimony
PHILOSOPHY OF RIGHT*
Provocative opening sentence: 142: Ethical life is the Idea of Freedom
Best explained by 149 (247) in duty the individual finds his liberation in 2 ways
1) is very clear but 2) is typically opaque Heglelenese
1 involves liberation from mere natural impulse (the lower part of our nature as
almost all writers so far studied argue as well)
2) liberation from indeterminate subjectivity, which means
To explain this we need to distinguish subjectivity, from objectivity, and subject from
object,
* note: not The Philosophy of Rights
OBJECT AND SUBJECT
In Hegel elsewhere the object is the thing in itself whereas the subject is the thing
for itself . The thing in itself is real and so is the thing for itself but in very
different senses since the latter has consciousness but the former does not.
He uses very simple examples: 146 (246) the sun, moon, mountains, rivers and all
other natural objects
are.
But we humans not only
are
we
are
conscious subjects not
just objects and thus are aware of both these non-conscious natural objects and
other human conscious and self-conscious subjects.
SITTLICHKEIT, CUSTOM AND TRADITION
151 p. 248: this is extremely important as both a comment on how we learn
morality but also on human nature especially in the context of radical changes
during the FR*
By radical changes I mean both those put into practise and those proposed that
were not then or only later tried.
We learn our morality not by reason, emotion or a social contract but by custom,
tradition and habit.
* FR = French Revolution (1789-1799 OR 1804 0R 1815 OR ……
THE ULTIMATE PARADOX OF HN
1. Humans desire change and progress BUT
2. Humans also desire custom and the simplicity of traditional rules.
The real importance of Hegel*s complicated and verbose discussion is the difference
between
moralitat
that of the individual and the morality of
Sittlichkeit,
the
community.
THE IDEA OF DUTY AND RIGHTS
155 (249) one standard view of duties and rights i.e. they coalesce i.e. They
logically entail or imply each other. A man has rights insofar as he has duties and
vice versa.
But there are actually at least 2 views.
The Hegelian view is that they are correlative that is if R implies D then D implies R
and vice versa.
However some see them as asymmetrical. That is R implies D BUT D does not
imply R.
I obvious example: if Kate is a mother then Kate is a female but: If Kate is a female
it does NOT follow that Kate is a mother.
THE FAMILY
SUB-SECTION I (249)
Has a very human, down to earth theory unusual for him and most philosophers
who tend to ignore the family as if it were unimportant.
Divided into 3 sections:
1. Marriage
2. Family Property and Capital
3. The Education of Children
While basing the family on love he has a strange definition of love: mind*s feeling of
its own unity
HOW MEN AND WOMEN DIFFER
166: after a verbose introduction it turns our then the male is powerful and active,
the latter passive and subjective.
It has to be based on mutual free consent as it definitely has NOT been elsewhere
and always.
It is not based on either instinctive sexual impulses or as a legal contract (168, par
2) p. 252.
CHILDREN HAVE RIGHTS
Children have the right to maintenance and education from the family capital. (174)
They are potentially free. (175) Hegel totally rejects the old Roman view of absolute
paternal despotism: treating children as slaves.
They become persons in their own right once they are educated to freedom of
personality (254, 177) and come of age.
Divorce allowed if and only if estrangement of both is total. That would rule out a
lot of silly Hollywood divorces! (176)
THE CIVIL SOCIETY
SUB-SECTION II (254)
Skip from 182 to188
256 (188) 3 moments of Civil Society:
(A) The System of Needs.
(B) Administration of Justice.
(C) Provision against contingencies.
(A) THE SYSTEM OF NEEDS.
Starts with Political economy , one of the sciences emerging from the modern world
and mentions 3 key figures: Adam Smith, David Ricardo J.B. Say
And one major term to be used abused and misused over and over and over………….
bourgeois
or the burgher as he calls him
Marx was to make a really big deal about the huge difference between well off
bourgeois
and miserable proletariat.
Hegel rejects both Hobbes and Rousseau on freedom in the state of nature: 257
(194R last para)
CAPITAL, CLASS, AND INEQUALITY
Hegel has perhaps a more realistic view of 19th class division than Marx did later
See (202) 259: 3 classes: 1. Agricultural class;
2. Formal or business class
3 Universal class = civil servants
Also disagrees with Rousseau although he recognizes the 2 types of inequality:
(200) 258-59 extremely profound whether correct or not.
(B) ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
Hegel also recognizes the conflict between producers and consumers (236)262
something class theories such as Marx tend to ignore or downplay.
He also recognizes the need for society to provide for public education and charity or
welfare:
(242), 263: Hegel wisely rejects the idea that the problem of poverty be left either
solely to private charity or to those regulations that are obligatory.
(C) PROVISION AGAINST CONTINGENCIES.
While he opposes the egalitarian measures of socialism, communism and anarchism
he thinks concentration of disproportionate wealth in a few hand is bad.
He sees the other end also--- too few consumers with enough money since they are
not producers.
He finishes by recommending a careful examination of contemporary English policy
for dealing with such problems.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 9 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
19/04/2012
3
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!
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.
ROUSSEAU’S INTRODUCTION
ROUSSEAU’s 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
“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”.
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”.
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.
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 Rousseau’s 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”. *
HUMANS, ANIMALS AND THE JUNGLE
Rousseau says “I see man as an animal less strong…,less agile…but…the 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.
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.
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 prisoner’s dilemma this time with positive
sum game [234R par. 3]
Property selfishness disruption of family life and a new division of labour.
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: Cain’s 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 became
irrelevant sooner than under civilization.
A QUASI-GEOPOLITICAL DETERMINISM
Importance of climate and physical conditions in shaping human nature and
behaviour [233R-2]
Evolution of fishing, hunting, and war
Humans become aware of their superiorityto the animals: the beginnings of
speciesism.
THE EMERGENCE OF EGOTISM AND EGOISM
Notice the key difference!
First shown in our attitude to animals. [233R-3]
Then the emergence of egoism which is (unlike Rand) not natural: it follows the
emergence of property and the “division of labour” [234-2]
Also anticipates problem of co-operation as positive-sum Prisoners dilemma.
THE EMERGENCE OF KIN ALTRUISM
The new situation lead to “the epoch of a first revolution, …the establishment and
differentiation of families.conjugal and paternal love [234 R-2]
However jealousy also awakens with love [235R-1]
In between these theses he suggests this was when language came into being
ANOTHER SOURCE OF INEQUALITY
Different talents and abilities are also sources of inequality [235 R-2]
The one who is “the handsomest, ..strongest….most adroit or most eloquent” or
who sings and dances best becomes more highly regarded “first step toward
inequality and… vice”
At the same time our self-interest and reason together make us aware of our need
for co-operation and help as well as the need to fear harm from other humans as
well as from animals next PP
A PRIMITIVE SOCIAL CONTRACT
We invented moral rules and laws for the sake of self-protection this leads to the
need for sanctions including punishments
The rise of more crime fiercer more inhumane punishments
18th Century saw the beginnings in most of Europe to reform of penal law in more
humanitarian direction.
THE GREAT LEAP BACKWARDS
The techological breakthrough of what is now called “The Neo-lithic* Revolution [Cir
8,000-10,000 BCE] involving the invention of agriculture.
JUSTICE AND PROPERTY[237]
In both Hobbes and Locke as well as Hume later there is an axiom: “Without
property there is no justice or injustice”. Part of the rationale for this is the view that
one’s body and mind are their own property to be used as they wish
* “Neo-lithic” = new stone i.e. New Stone Age. *
NICE SUMMARY 239L P-3
1. New fetters for week, new forces to rich
2. Destroyed natural freedom.
3. Established law of Property and inequality
4 . Subject whole of humanity to work, servitude and misery.
5. Savage and civilized [239]
FINAL PARAGRAPH
Is relying on Reason alone he says for all his claims:
1. Inequality is almost zero in state of nature
2. It emerges only with property and laws
3. Moral inequality is contrary to Natural Right “whenever it is not combined in the
same proportion with physical inequality”
4. Present system contrary to Nature Law especially when a handful of gluttons co-
exist with starving multitudes.
GEORG W. F. HEGEL [1770-1831]
Born the same year as Ludwig von Beethoven and one year later than Napoleon.
Is this just trivia or important?
The main common theme as with almost all Europeans is the effect of the French
Revolution[s] and its (their) aftermath.
Another equally (in fact more) important but less visible revolutions was also
occurring: The Industrial Revolution. Together they would revolutionize politics, the
European economies and society.
THE KEYS TO HEGEL*S PHILOSOPHY
HISTORY
FREEDOM
GEIST = GERMAN FOR *freedom*
Two terms relevant to ethics and human nature: moralitat (easy to translate so ….)
and
sittlichkeit
the notion of a morally community with embedded moral rules and a
given history and a set of practises.
KEY IDEAS IN HN
The idea of duty and rights
The Family
The Civil Society
The State Constitution
Property, Poverty and Patrimony
PHILOSOPHY OF RIGHT*
Provocative opening sentence: 142: Ethical life is the Idea of Freedom
Best explained by 149 (247) in duty the individual finds his liberation in 2 ways
1) is very clear but 2) is typically opaque Heglelenese
1 involves liberation from mere natural impulse (the lower part of our nature as
almost all writers so far studied argue as well)
2) liberation from indeterminate subjectivity, which means
To explain this we need to distinguish subjectivity, from objectivity, and subject from
object,
* note: not The Philosophy of Rights
OBJECT AND SUBJECT
In Hegel elsewhere the object is the thing in itself whereas the subject is the thing
for itself . The thing in itself is real and so is the thing for itself but in very
different senses since the latter has consciousness but the former does not.
He uses very simple examples: 146 (246) the sun, moon, mountains, rivers and all
other natural objects
are.
But we humans not only
are
we
are
conscious subjects not
just objects and thus are aware of both these non-conscious natural objects and
other human conscious and self-conscious subjects.
SITTLICHKEIT, CUSTOM AND TRADITION
151 p. 248: this is extremely important as both a comment on how we learn
morality but also on human nature especially in the context of radical changes
during the FR*
By radical changes I mean both those put into practise and those proposed that
were not then or only later tried.
We learn our morality not by reason, emotion or a social contract but by custom,
tradition and habit.
* FR = French Revolution (1789-1799 OR 1804 0R 1815 OR ……
THE ULTIMATE PARADOX OF HN
1. Humans desire change and progress BUT
2. Humans also desire custom and the simplicity of traditional rules.
The real importance of Hegel*s complicated and verbose discussion is the difference
between
moralitat
that of the individual and the morality of
Sittlichkeit,
the
community.
THE IDEA OF DUTY AND RIGHTS
155 (249) one standard view of duties and rights i.e. they coalesce i.e. They
logically entail or imply each other. A man has rights insofar as he has duties and
vice versa.
But there are actually at least 2 views.
The Hegelian view is that they are correlative that is if R implies D then D implies R
and vice versa.
However some see them as asymmetrical. That is R implies D BUT D does not
imply R.
I obvious example: if Kate is a mother then Kate is a female but: If Kate is a female
it does NOT follow that Kate is a mother.
THE FAMILY
SUB-SECTION I (249)
Has a very human, down to earth theory unusual for him and most philosophers
who tend to ignore the family as if it were unimportant.
Divided into 3 sections:
1. Marriage
2. Family Property and Capital
3. The Education of Children
While basing the family on love he has a strange definition of love: mind*s feeling of
its own unity
HOW MEN AND WOMEN DIFFER
166: after a verbose introduction it turns our then the male is powerful and active,
the latter passive and subjective.
It has to be based on mutual free consent as it definitely has NOT been elsewhere
and always.
It is not based on either instinctive sexual impulses or as a legal contract (168, par
2) p. 252.
CHILDREN HAVE RIGHTS
Children have the right to maintenance and education from the family capital. (174)
They are potentially free. (175) Hegel totally rejects the old Roman view of absolute
paternal despotism: treating children as slaves.
They become persons in their own right once they are educated to freedom of
personality (254, 177) and come of age.
Divorce allowed if and only if estrangement of both is total. That would rule out a
lot of silly Hollywood divorces! (176)
THE CIVIL SOCIETY
SUB-SECTION II (254)
Skip from 182 to188
256 (188) 3 moments of Civil Society:
(A) The System of Needs.
(B) Administration of Justice.
(C) Provision against contingencies.
(A) THE SYSTEM OF NEEDS.
Starts with Political economy , one of the sciences emerging from the modern world
and mentions 3 key figures: Adam Smith, David Ricardo J.B. Say
And one major term to be used abused and misused over and over and over………….
bourgeois
or the burgher as he calls him
Marx was to make a really big deal about the huge difference between well off
bourgeois
and miserable proletariat.
Hegel rejects both Hobbes and Rousseau on freedom in the state of nature: 257
(194R last para)
CAPITAL, CLASS, AND INEQUALITY
Hegel has perhaps a more realistic view of 19th class division than Marx did later
See (202) 259: 3 classes: 1. Agricultural class;
2. Formal or business class
3 Universal class = civil servants
Also disagrees with Rousseau although he recognizes the 2 types of inequality:
(200) 258-59 extremely profound whether correct or not.
(B) ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
Hegel also recognizes the conflict between producers and consumers (236)262
something class theories such as Marx tend to ignore or downplay.
He also recognizes the need for society to provide for public education and charity or
welfare:
(242), 263: Hegel wisely rejects the idea that the problem of poverty be left either
solely to private charity or to those regulations that are obligatory.
(C) PROVISION AGAINST CONTINGENCIES.
While he opposes the egalitarian measures of socialism, communism and anarchism
he thinks concentration of disproportionate wealth in a few hand is bad.
He sees the other end also--- too few consumers with enough money since they are
not producers.
He finishes by recommending a careful examination of contemporary English policy
for dealing with such problems.
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