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Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1712-1778)
Discours sur l'origine et les fondemens de l'inégalité parmi les hommes.
Aamsterdam : chez Marc Michel Rey, 1755.

Image from Rousseau's Discours sur l'origine et les fondemens

The Swiss born French philosophe Rousseau penned this work for a writing competition. It furnishes us with an idyllic picture of humankind functioning in nature as animals, yet transcending them through the use of reason and language. Yet as private property emerges and social stratification ensues people find themselves alienated from each other. Thus, in contrast to the view of Hobbes and others we move from perfect freedom in the state of nature to inequality and therefore bondage.

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