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He said it was wrong to recognize distinctions because this makes people unequal. What mattered to Rousseau was a person's good intentions rather than his achievements or outer appearances.Rousseau proclaimed the natural goodness of man and believed that one man by nature is just as good as any other.Rousseau asserts that man's natural goodness has been depraved by the progress he has made and the knowledge he has acquired.
Civil society thus was born when people began fencing off their property, claiming that it was theirs, and finding that other people agreed with them.
Depravity is due to the corruption of man's essence by civilization.
His thought thereby foreshadowed and gave impetus to the Romantic Movement.
Rousseau assigned primacy to instinct, emotion, intuition, feelings, and passion.
For Rousseau, civil society resulted from the degeneration of a basically good state of nature. He believed that the state of nature changed because it was internally unstable.
For example, because talents were not distributed equally among persons, the balance that existed in the state of nature was disturbed and with inequality came conflicting interests.Rousseau saw compassion for the undeserving in particular and for mankind in general to be the greatest of the virtues.He regarded contempt of another, which could lead to hurt feelings, as a vice and as always bad. He felt that a proper society had no place for blame, criticism, judgment, comparison with others, and the distinction of worth among men.Rousseau's view is that society corrupts the pure individual.Arguing that men are not inherently constrained by human nature, Rousseau claims that men are limited and corrupted by social arrangements.The belief that man, by nature, is good was espoused by the French philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778).He believed that people in the state of nature were innocent and at their best and that they were corrupted by the unnaturalness of civilization.One such institution was private property that encouraged avarice and self-interest.Rousseau viewed private property as a destructive, impulsive, and egotistical institution that rewarded greed and luck.Evil, greed, and selfishness emerged as human society began to develop.As people formed social institutions, they developed vices.