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Discourse on the Origin of Inequality Paperback – October 18, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1449540043 ISBN-10: 144954004X

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 74 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144954004X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449540043
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,642,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

About the Author

Jean Jacques Rousseau was born at Geneva, June 28, 1712, the son of a watchmaker of French origin. His education was irregular, and though he tried many professions-including engraving, music, and teaching-he found it difficult to support himself in any of them. The discovery of his talent as a writer came with the winning of a prize offered by the Academy of Dijon for a discourse on the question, "Whether the progress of the sciences and of letters has tended to corrupt or to elevate morals." He argued so brilliantly that the tendency of civilization was degrading that he became at once famous. The discourse here printed on the causes of inequality among men was written in a similar competition. He now concentrated his powers upon literature, producing two novels, "La Nouvelle Heloise," the forerunner and parent of endless sentimental and picturesque fictions; and "Emile, ou l'Education," a work which has had enormous influence on the theory and practise of pedagogy down to our own time and in which the Savoyard Vicar appears, who is used as the mouthpiece for Rousseau's own religious ideas. "Le Contrat Social" (1762) elaborated the doctrine of the discourse on inequality. Both historically and philosophically it is unsound; but it was the chief literary source of the enthusiasm for liberty, fraternity, and equality, which inspired the leaders of the French Revolution, and its effects passed far beyond France. His most famous work, the "Confessions," was published after his death. This book is a mine of information as to his life, but it is far from trustworthy; and the picture it gives of the author's personality and conduct, though painted in such a way as to make it absorbingly interesting, is often unpleasing in the highest degree. But it is one of the great autobiographies of the world. During Rousseau's later years he was the victim of the delusion of persecution; and although he was protected by a succession of good friends, he came to distrust and quarrel with each in turn. He died at Ermenonville, near Paris, July 2, 1778, the most widely influential French writer of his age. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By CasieJean on October 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This publication is unacceptably limited in content.

1) It does not include any of Rousseau's footnotes, which are critical to a more complete understanding his arguments.

2) It does not include the original date of publication.

3) It does not include his Dedication to Geneva.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Raymond F. Donahue on August 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I find Rousseau especially creative in the way he describes how inequality progressed from the time the first humans made contact. He makes a good case for the solitary life. I think Rousseau believes it is destructive whenever humans come together in groups. Governments were formed to protect the weaker from the stronger or as Rousseau thinks to actually protect the rich from the poor. This is an outstanding book. It will haunt you.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. K. Leggate on February 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful example of the 18th century enlightenment. In this work, Rousseau states that inequalities of rank, wealth, and power are the inevitable result of the civilizing process, something most of us have found to be very true if unfair. This new translation also includes all of Rousseau's own notes.
I enjoyed this tremendously, and am always amazed that the thought pattern and process is oneof the few things that hasn't changed over the centuries.
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By Savannah Hulsopple on December 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
well written and goes through each point clearly. I'd recommend to anyone interested in philosophy especially
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Techela on July 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book addresses inequalities in life. Books such as this one often make me wonder. How could such intelligence available so long ago, lead to were we have arrived today? This title is certain to open your eyes. I highly recommend this book. Personal enlightenment always makes life easier and happier.
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