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He argued for freedom in music, and he pointed to the Italian composers as models to be followed.
European music had taken a new direction. But Rousseau himself composed no more operas. Despite the success of Le Devin du village, or rather because of its success, Rousseau felt that, as a moralist who had decided to make a break with worldly values, he could not allow himself to go on working for the theatre.
He decided to devote his energies henceforth to literature and philosophy. Indeed, he decided to return to that city, repudiate his Catholicism, and seek readmission to the Protestant church.
To the surprise of his friends, he took her with him to Geneva, presenting her as a nurse. Although her presence caused some murmurings, Rousseau was readmitted easily to the Calvinist communion, his literary fame having made him very welcome to a city that prided itself as much on its culture as on its morals.
Rousseau had by that time completed a second Discourse in response to a question set by the Academy of Dijon: The argument follows on that of his first Discourse by developing the proposition that people are naturally good and then tracing the successive stages by which they have descended from primitive innocence to corrupt sophistication.
It is the inequalities of the latter sort that he set out to explain. Human vices, he argued, date from the time when societies were formed.
Rousseau thus A biography of jacques cousteau nature and blames society. He says that passions that generate vices hardly existed in the state of nature but began to develop as soon as people formed societies.
He goes on to suggest that societies started when people built their first huts, a development that facilitated cohabitation of males and females; that in turn produced the habit of living as a family and associating with neighbours.
Only it did not endure.
With the tender passion of love there was also born the destructive passion of jealousy. Their innocent self-love turned into culpable pride, as each person wanted to be better than everyone else. The introduction of property marked a further step toward inequality, since it made law and government necessary as a means of protecting it.
Those passages in his second Discourse excited later revolutionaries such as Karl Marx and Vladimir Ilich Leninbut Rousseau himself did not think that the past could be undone in any way.
There was no point in dreaming of a return to the golden age. Civil societyas Rousseau describes it, comes into being to serve two purposes: It is thus of some advantage to everyone, but mostly to the advantage of the rich, since it transforms their de facto ownership into rightful ownership and keeps the poor dispossessed.
It is a somewhat fraudulent social contract that introduces government, since the poor get so much less out of it than do the rich. Even so, the rich are no happier in civil society than are the poor because people in society are never satisfied.
Society leads people to hate one another to the extent that their interests conflict, and the best they are able to do is to hide their hostility behind a mask of courtesy.
Thus, Rousseau regards inequality not as a separate problem but as one of the features of the long process by which men become alienated from nature and from innocence. Like PlatoRousseau always believed that a just society was one in which everyone was in his proper place.
And having written the second Discourse to explain how people had lost their liberty in the past, he went on to write another book, Du Contrat social ; The Social Contractto suggest how they might recover their liberty in the future.
Again Geneva was the model: The Social Contract begins with the sensational opening sentence: If a civil society, or state, could be based on a genuine social contract, as opposed to the fraudulent social contract depicted in the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, people would receive in exchange for their independence a better kind of freedom, namely true political, or republican, liberty.
Such liberty is to be found in obedience to a self-imposed law. For while it can be readily agreed that an individual is free if he obeys only rules he prescribes for himself, this is so because an individual is a person with a single will.
A society, by contrast, is a set of persons with a set of individual wills, and conflict between separate wills is a fact of universal experience. The social contract that brings society into being is a pledge, and the society remains in being as a pledged group.
Rousseau sounds very much like Hobbes when he says that under the pact by which people enter civil society everyone totally alienates himself and all his rights to the whole community.
Rousseau, however, represents this act as a form of exchange of rights whereby people give up natural rights in return for civil rights. He does not claim that a whole society can be forced to be free but only that an occasional individual, who is enslaved by his passions to the extent of disobeying the law, can be restored by force to obedience to the voice of the general will that exists inside of him.
For Rousseau there is a radical dichotomy between true law and actual law. Actual law, which he described in the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, simply protects the status quo. True law, as described in The Social Contract, is just law, and what ensures its being just is that it is made by the people in their collective capacity as sovereign and obeyed by the same people in their individual capacities as subjects.
Rousseau is confident that such laws could not be unjust because it is inconceivable that any people would make unjust laws for itself. Rousseau is, however, troubled by the fact that the majority of a people does not necessarily represent its most-intelligent citizens.Teach students about Jacques Cousteau and use these ideas for ocean-related projects.
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