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Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Men
First EditionJean Jacques Rousseau; translated, edited, and with an introduction by Helena Rosenblatt©2011
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Challenging the superiority of civilized society and modern government, Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Men stands today as one of the most important political texts in Western history. Discover why the criticisms of human nature, political hierarchy, and private property were so controversial in Rousseau's time yet today are hailed as a foundation of democracy through related primary documents.
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Table of Contents
Rousseau's Beginnings: The Road to the Second Discourse
The Origins of Political Authority Before Rousseau
Rousseau's Bombshell: The Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality
The State of Nature
The Steps to Society
The Invention of Property
Anthropology, Psychology, and Evolutionary Biology
Rousseau and Gender
Reception of the Second Discourse
“Citizen of Geneva”: The Dedication
Rousseau's Later Life and Legacy
Rousseau and the French Revolution
The Social Contract and Its Paradoxes
Notice about the Notes
1. Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Politics Drawn from Holy Scripture, 1709
2. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, 1651
3. Samuel Pufendorf, On the Duty of Man and Citizen, 1673
4. John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, 1690
5. George-Louis Leclerc Buffon, Discourse on the Nature of Animals, 1753
6. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Of the Social Contract, 1762
7. Maximilien Robespierre, Eulogies to Rousseau, 1790s
8. Benjamin Constant, Principles of Politics, 1810
A Jean-Jacques Rousseau Chronology (1712-1794)
Questions for Consideration