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Cover

Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Translated by Franklin Philip
Edited with an introduction by Patrick Coleman

April 2009

ISBN: 9780199555420

176 pages
Paperback
196x129mm

In Stock

Oxford World's Classics

Price: £7.99

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Description

In his Discourses (1755), Rousseau argues that inequalities of rank, wealth, and power are the inevitable result of the civilizing process. If inequality is intolerable - and Rousseau shows with unparalleled eloquence how it robs us not only of our material but also of our psychological independence - then how can we recover the peaceful self-sufficiency of life in the state of nature? We cannot return to a simpler time, but measuring the costs of progress may help us to imagine alternatives to the corruption and oppressive conformity of modern society.

Rousseau's sweeping account of humanity's social and political development epitomizes the innovative boldness of the Enlightenment, and it is one of the most provocative and influential works of the eighteenth century. This new translation includes all Rousseau's own notes, and Patrick Coleman's Introduction builds on recent key scholarship, considering particularly the relationship between political and aesthetic thought.

About the Author(s)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Translated by Franklin Philip
Edited with an introduction by Patrick Coleman, Associate Professor of French, University of California at Los Angeles

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