Discourse on the origin of inequality / Jean-Jacques Rousseau; translated by Franklin Philip; edited with an introduction and notes by Patrick Coleman.

by Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 1712-1778Looking glass; Coleman, PatrickLooking glass; Philip, FranklinLooking glass.

Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1999.Description: xxxv,127 pages ; 21cm.ISBN: 0192839810.Uniform titles: Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes. English.Subject(s): EqualityLooking glass | Natural lawLooking glass | Political scienceLooking glassNote: Cover title: Discourse on inequality.;
This edition originally published 1994.
Note: Includes bibliographical references.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In his Discourses (1755), Rousseau argues that inequalities of rank, wealth, and power are the inevitable result of the civilizing process. If inequality is intolerable - and Rousseau shows with unparalledled eloquence how it robs us not only of our material but also of our psychologicalindependence - then how can we recover the peaceful self-sufficiency of life in the state of nature? We cannot return to a simpler time, but measuring the costs of progress may help us to imagine alternatives to the corruption and oppressive conformity of modern society.Rousseau's sweeping account of humanity's social and political development epitomizes the innovative boldness of the Englightment, and it is one of the most provocative and influential works of the eighteenth century. This new translation includes all Rousseau's own notes, and Patrick Coleman'sintroduction builds on recent key scholarship, considering particularly the relationship between political and aesthetic thought.

Cover title: Discourse on inequality.

This edition originally published 1994.

Includes bibliographical references.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Oxford World's Classics (p. ii)
  • Introduction (p. vii)
  • Note On The Text (p. xxxi)
  • Select Bibliography (p. xxxii)
  • A Chronology og Jean-Jacques Rousseau (p. xxxiv)
  • To the Republic of Geneva Magnificent, Most Honoured, and Sovereign Lords:* (p. 3)
  • Preface (p. 14)
  • Remark About The Notes (p. 20)
  • Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men (p. 23)
  • Part I (p. 26)
  • Notes (p. 55)
  • Part II (p. 86)
  • Explanatory Notes (p. 121)

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Jean Jacques Rousseau was a Swiss philosopher and political theorist who lived much of his life in France. Many reference books describe him as French, but he generally added "Citizen of Geneva" whenever he signed his name. He presented his theory of education in Emile (1762), a novel, the first book to link the educational process to a scientific understanding of children; Rousseau is thus regarded as the precursor, if not the founder, of child psychology. "The greatest good is not authority, but liberty," he wrote, and in The Social Contract (1762) Rousseau moved from a study of the individual to an analysis of the relationship of the individual to the state: "The art of politics consists of making each citizen extremely dependent upon the polis in order to free him from dependence upon other citizens." This doctrine of sovereignty, the absolute supremacy of the state over its members, has led many to accuse Rousseau of opening the doors to despotism, collectivism, and totalitarianism. Others say that this is the opposite of Rousseau's intent, that the surrender of rights is only apparent, and that in the end individuals retain the rights that they appear to have given up. In effect, these Rousseau supporters say, the social contract is designed to secure or to restore to individuals in the state of civilization the equivalent of the rights they enjoyed in the state of nature. Rousseau was a passionate man who lived in passionate times, and he still stirs passion in those who write about him today.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Other editions of this work

No cover image available Discourse on the origin of inequality / by Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, ©1994