Lecture 19 - Democracy and Participation: Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality (part II)

author: Steven B. Smith, Department of Political Science, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: Jan. 4, 2010,   recorded: November 2006,   views: 3234
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

The discussion on the origins of inequality in the Second Discourse continues. This lecture focuses on amour-propre, a faculty or a disposition that is related to a range of psychological characteristics such as pride, vanity, and conceit. The Social Contract is subsequently discussed with an emphasis on the concept of freedom and how one's desire to preserve one's freedom is often in conflict with that of others to protect and defend their own. General will becomes Rousseau's solution to the problem of securing individual liberty.

Reading assignment:

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, part II

Resources: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin and the Foundations of Inequality Among Men, translated by Ian Johnston Courtesy of the University of Adelaide Library Electronic Texts Collection

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