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Publisher's Summary

Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men by the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau was originally written for an essay competition run by the Dijon Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1754. The question was, "What is the origin of inequality among men, and is it authorized by the natural law?" Rousseau's text is divided into four main parts: a dedication, preface, an extended inquiry into the nature of the individual, and another inquiry into the evolution of the human species within society. Rousseau discusses two types of inequality: natural inequality and moral inequality. Concerned with moral inequality, Rousseau contends that it is unique to civil society, is established by convention and is seen in differences in "wealth, nobility or rank, power and personal merit". Rousseau takes a cynical view of civil society, claiming that man has strayed from his "natural state" of individual independence and freedom to satisfy his individual needs and desires.

Public Domain (P)2020 Museum Audiobooks

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