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POLC71H3 (52)

Rousseau (Property and Human Nature)

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Stefan Dolgert

POL B71 Week 10Lecture 9 1 PROPERTY The feelings that you have about property directly relates to how u feel about property Harrington says that if your country contains the very rich and the very poor (inequality) than you are headed toward an oligarchical system of rule Locke says that inequality is not necessarily a bad thing Rousseau says that if you get what you pay for, than what are we paying for exactly? What is the property system we are paying into? What political system would we get if wealth and power are invested in such a small group of people? Rousseau says that it is not just and not good for anyone. We do not tacitly consent to anything. Rousseau In his Discourse of Inequality, Rousseau sets up the problem of human nature --- he discusses the political problems. His essay is a response to the questions: what are the origins of inequality and is it justified? We have to understand what a human is to understand what inequality is and if it is justified NATURE AND ARTIFICE This is a distinction of what humans are naturally, by the hands of our creator, and what we are in civilization He says that this is one of the crucial places that other philosophers have gone wrong (Hobbes and Locke) --- it is right to theorize on human nature, but the past philosophers did not sufficiently do this --- rather, what they did was take civilized humans and put them in the forest He says that Hobbes talks a lot about humans are competitive and aggressive. Rouseau says that Hobbes looked at people around him in civilization who are prideful and war-like, and put them back in the state of nature. We cannot just assume that the dispositions that we see (the competitiveness and aggressiveness) are part of our natural state. The dispositions of pride and aggression are PRODUCTS of civilization
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