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Lecture

Class 8. Rousseau.docx


Department
Social Sciences
Course Code
SCS 1160
Professor
Jordan Stancil

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Rousseau
- Mainly worried about the majority of what we do and what we think of
ourselves comes from what other people think about us
- When we live together we begin to compare ourselves
- To attract other people we begin to lie
- If you cannot manipulate the image you present to others you cannot get
what you want from them
- We cannot be happy until we get these things from other people through
manipulation
- In many ways the founder of modern social science, and deeply religious
- The root of all of our problems was the inability to communicate honestly
- 1712 1778
- Culture is just another way for us to be artificial, taking away from our true
nature. The problems we see in politics and society are due to this dishonesty
- 1754 he writes the Discourse of Inequality
- Mans fall starts when we begin to live with other people, we begin to depend
on each other and thus we must manipulate each other
- Tries to live by the principles he lays out in his books
- Hard to categorize him because on one hand he seems to be preaching
equality and on the other he seems to be appealing to conservative people
- He taught people: is responsible for the French Revolution because he had
one lesson you are God’s. You can take control of the political system and
the social order.
- He diagnosis these large problems we have
- What do you know about mankind if you can’t see its features anymore?
(Statue covered with pollution), to clean off the ‘statue’ we have: human
reason and human heart. Every human is capable if the ignore external forces
and stop manipulating and begin using their heart.
- Small countries are better, it is not too big to manage, and human’s can wrap
their heads around it. You know everything happening within your country
- Everybody knows everybody so you cant hide anything or have corruption
- Wants a system where people live and die free because their subject only to
the honorable law that they make themselves. No one is above the law and no
one from outside the state can dictate any law for people inside the state
- The ideal state cant engage in conquest
- You don’t have to conquer anyone and you won’t be conquered
- We are not naturally sociable, we are naturally solitary
- The basic factor in us is not reason it is: interest in our own well being and
preservation, and secondly a natural aversion to seeing any other perishing
or suffering
- He is not arguing that we are all equal and need to respect one another, he is
arguing that the fact we have the ability to suffer and have this aversion is the
true root to human nature and we only ignore that when dishonesty begins
with society
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