Rousseau's Criticisms Of The Progress And Prosperity

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Rousseau’s Criticisms of the Progress and Prosperity In an essay contest seeming to beckon praise for the arts and sciences, Jean-Jacques Rousseau presents a criticism. In 1750, a time when man seems to be tirelessly working to conquer nature by reason and believes progress to almost exclusively be this conquering of nature, Rousseau forms his thoughts around the inherent goodness of nature. He presents what he believes to be man’s original state of nature and then delves into the corruptions caused by what he argues not this original state, but civil society. Through his First Discourse (also referred to as Discourse on the Sciences and Arts) and Second Discourse (also referred to as Discourse on Inequality), Rousseau presents convincing flaws in the enlightened visions of progress and prosperity of early modern philosophers. To provide a more clear presentation of Rousseau’s refutations, I will specifically focus on his responses to two early modern philosophers: Hobbes and Locke. Also, before I delve into Rousseau’s criticisms, I will present areas in which he agrees with Hobbes and Locke. Rousseau, Hobbes, and Locke all agree that there was an original state of nature in which man had pure natural tendencies. They both also concur that man, in his natural state and beyond, needs to sustain himself. From this, they all, too, agree that man has a need for self preservation. Rousseau uses these points of agreement as foundations for his criticisms, but beyond these,

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