Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Essay --

The Discourse on Inequality by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean Jacques Rousseau though a philosopher in the eighteenth century sense, was not what would now be called a ‘philosopher.’ Nevertheless he had a great deal on influence on the philosophical workings of his time and indeed of every subsequent period that followed him. Not only this but also he exerted his influence in the fields of literature, politics etc. Irrespective of the credibility one attaches to him as a philosopher, one cannot over look his influence as a primary social force. Rousseau was a philosopher that appealed to one’s good sense, one’s heart and so for this purpose has been termed as a Romantic philosopher. Others have accredited him with producing facts and ideas that are entirely non-human but nonetheless have been derived from human emotions and other related aspects of an individual’s life. He has also given rise to a political philosophy of sorts, which is a far cry from the absolute monarchies that prevailed in that time. However experts point out that this philosophy is only a weak attempt at democracy and so has been termed as ‘pseudo-democratic’ by many of them. Those that consider themselves true reformers have been divided into two groups; one that follows the ideals of John Locke and the other that associates itself with the premises presented by Rousseau. Therefore it has been often suggested that Hitler is an outcome of Rousseau whereas Roosevelt and Churchill belong to Locke. Though his literary career started rather late and was full of eventualities, Rousseau’s second essay a â€Å"Discourse on Inequality† (1754) remains largely popular to this day. This is because it consists of ideas that were unheard of at the time. However it must be noted t... ...ecause of the Industrial Revolution. Since having more ensures a certain position for an individual in the society thus it brings about social inequality in the environment. The above analysis shows that Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Discourses do consist of some valid and thought-provoking ideas. One is forced to consider the very institutions that one blithely takes for granted and in the process realizes that these man made institutions are responsible for bringing about social inequality in the society. Thus one can say that the argument which suggests that Rousseau’s theory is correct in assuming that institutions bring about inequality and serve to trap the modern human race. Bibliography 1. Ritter, Alan (Ed.). Rousseau's Political Writings: Discourse on Inequality, Discourse on Political Economy on Social Contract. New York: WW Norton & Company, 1999.

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