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Lecture

Class 10. Rousseau.docx


Department
Social Sciences
Course Code
SCS 1160
Professor
Jordan Stancil

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Rousseau
Worried about the division of the self. All of us are broken up into 2 parts, which
is a bad thing: a true core (true inner self), a false exterior we present to other
people in order to manipulate and lie.
This is the root of modern mans unhappiness
He believes there is a purpose for philosophy and social science which is to
understand and overcome this division. Man thinking about what we are and how
we live together
It seems he is obviously stating in the writing to return to the state of nature, but
we cannot and that is not what he is saying. We are social beings and cannot go
backwards. He tries to convince you that this is the problem.
Classical view
Mans soul is divided between reason and passion, elements that are godlike and
others that are animalistic
Christian view
Original sin, the division is between the godlike elements of our original soul and
the original sin that tarnishes us
There is a way to be good: overcome the physical, animalistic, irrational, sinful
parts of ourselves, and repress the parts that are not godlike
Rousseau thinks this division in ourselves is not natural and comes from social
aspects and we should try to remove them.
Natural man is in harmony with himself, not divided, it is social man who is
divided
We must find the dishonesty we force ourselves into, and find out who we
truly are to live in our true nature
The old thoughts required us to despise ourselves and caused a battle between the
two side of our nature, but for Rousseau we must fight a different battle, a battle
between our true self and the artificial rules of social inequality that force us into
dishonesty
o Natural mans happiness comes from a basic source: his capacities are
equal to his desires (he is satisfied because he doesn’t want anything
he cant have). He doesn’t compare himself to others or depend on
others
o When we begin to depend on each other for things then we begin to create
the dishonesty to manipulate the other person to get what we want
o This dishonesty is also caused by traditional morality. Feeds this idea that
to be good we must repress a part of ourselves and therefore it feeds the
problems
o The way to be good is to just let go and let your true natural self out
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