Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Paperback | May 23, 2009

byJean-jacques RousseauTranslated byFranklin PhilipEditorPatrick Coleman

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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 unparalledled eloquence how it robs us not only of our material but also of our psychologicalindependence - 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 Englightment, 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'sintroduction builds on recent key scholarship, considering particularly the relationship between political and aesthetic thought.

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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 unparalledled eloquence how it robs us not only of our material but also of our psychologicalindependence - then how can we recover the peacef...

Franklin Philip is the prize-winning translator of numerous French texts. Patrick Coleman is the author of Rousseau's Political Imagination (1984) and is Associate Professor of French at the University of California at Los Angeles.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.32 inPublished:May 23, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199555427

ISBN - 13:9780199555420

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Customer Reviews of Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic Classic text on social theory; recommended for socialists and anyone with an interest in politics or Marxism.
Date published: 2016-12-03

Extra Content

Table of Contents

IntroductionNote on the TextSelect BibliographyA Chronology of Jean-Jacques RousseauDiscourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among MenDedicationPrefaceRemark about the NotesQuestion proposed by the Academy of DijonDiscoursePart IPart IINotesExplanatory Notes