Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Men

Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Men : by Jean-Jacques Rousseau with Related Documents

3.83 (14,626 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 15-18 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


A provocative essay that challenged the superiority of civilized society and modern government, Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality made him an outcast among fellow Enlightenment thinkers but stands today as one of the most important political texts in Western history. Helena Rosenblatt's new translation, introduction, and selection of related documents help students comprehend why Rousseau's criticisms of human nature, political hierarchy, and private property were so controversial in his time yet later were hailed as a foundation of democracy. The introduction explores life experiences that shaped Rousseau's philosophy, explains contemporary ideas about political authority and social order, and guides students through Rousseau's thought, including explanations of how his work anticipated theories about evolution and inspired leaders of the French Revolution. Related primary documents - including a selection from Rousseau's Social Contract - situate Rousseau's ideas in contemporary political and social thought. Questions for consideration, a chronology of Rousseau's life and work, and a selected bibliography enrich students' understanding of the man and his times.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 138 x 210 x 10.16mm | 204.12g
  • Bedford/Saint Martin's
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 1st ed. 2011
  • 224 p.
  • 0312468423
  • 9780312468422
  • 1,825,880

Table of contents

Foreword.- PART I: INTRODUCTION: THE LIFE AND THOUGHT OF JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU Rousseau's Beginnings: The Road to the Second Discourse.- The Origins of Political Authority Before Rousseau.- Rousseau's Bombshell: The Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality .- The State of Nature.- The Steps to Society.- The Invention of Property.- Anthropology, Psychology, and Evolutionary Biology.- Rousseau and Gender.- Reception of the Second Discourse.- 'Citizen of Geneva': The Dedication.- Rousseau's Later Life and Legacy.- Rousseau and the French Revolution.- The Social Contract and Its Paradoxes .- PART II: DISCOURSE ON THE ORIGIN AND FOUNDATIONS OF INEQUALITY AMONG MEN BY JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU, CITIZEN OF GENEVA Dedication .- Preface.- Notice about the Notes.- First Part.- Second Part.- Rousseau's Notes .- PART III: RELATED DOCUMENTS Politics Drawn from Holy Scripture, 1709; Jacques-Benigne Bossuet.- Leviathan, 1651; Thomas Hobbes.- On the Duty of Man and Citizen, 1673; Samuel Pufendorf.- Two Treaties of Government, 1690; John Locke.- Discourse on the Nature of Animals, 1753; George-Louis Leclerc Buffon.- Of the Social Contract, 1762; Jean-Jacques Rousseau.- Maximilien Robespierre.- Principles of Politics, 1810; Benjamin Constant.- Appendixes.- A Jean-Jacques Rousseau Chronology (1712-1794).- Questions for Consideration.- Selected Bibliography .- Index.
show more

About Jean Jacques Rousseau

HELENA ROSENBLATT is a professor of history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, UK.
show more

Rating details

14,626 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 30% (4,333)
4 35% (5,113)
3 26% (3,829)
2 7% (993)
1 2% (358)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X