Rousseau, The Social Contract

History
December 8, 2017
FILM ANALYSIS #5
December 8, 2017

 

Rousseau, The Social Contract
Here is a good free version of the source needed from The Gutenberg Project: Please only use this as your source, there is no need to find any other outside sources.

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/46333msg=welcome_stranger#CHAPTER_VI

You only need to read Book I – so be careful. Scroll down to the Table of Contents and see that Book I ends with “Property.”

Here are a couple of very important passages to help you get a sense of the whole, and to help you answer the question:

Chapter 2, paragraph eight – the nature of slavery
Chapter 3, paragraph one – force and power in justice
Chapter 6, paragraph nine – the general will
Chapter 9, last paragraph – how the general will (fundamental compact) creates equality

Your question:
Explain, using Rousseau’s major ideas in the first Book of the Social Contract, what he means in the final paragraph of the Book? He says there:

“…instead of destroying natural inequality, the fundamental compact substitutes, for such physical inequality as nature may have set up between men, an equality that is moral and legitimate, and that men, who may be unequal in strength or intelligence, become every one equal by convention and legal right.[1]”

In other words, chart the logic from Book I that led Rousseau to this conclusion, and what does it mean in your own words?

 

 


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