A Discourse On Inequality By Rousseau

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Within “A Discourse on Inequality”, Rousseau reveals a core trait of his philosophy that wasn’t present in any of his predecessors; his faith and trust in the inherent goodness of man. Many of the negative, evil aspects of humanity that he devotes so much of his time to arguing against do not arise from men, but rather from various socio-political institutions. Rousseau was a strong writer, and like any strong writer he used many different rhetorical tactics in his arguments. Rousseau’s strongest rhetorical device was his definition of mankind’s nature, and the ways in which he relied upon this “true state of nature” to continually enforce his argument that man is a naturally good and compassionate being. In his demonstration of a state of nature that “no longer exists, which has, perhaps, never existed,” Rousseau shows his audience what a world where people lived within a pure state of nature would be like. In attempting to define what human nature would be like without any social establishments, Rousseau strengthens his idea that without these institutions, mankind would be truly free and living without any type of dissension or conflict. Rousseau often speaks of “the true state of nature.” Before continuing any further in this argument, the true state of nature must be clearly defined and specified. Rousseau describes the natural man, a creature he speaks of as a simple being without the capacity for reason, morals, or self-improvement. What he means by this is not the
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