Talking Politics: HISTORY OF IDEAS

Rousseau on Inequality

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Episode notes

Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Discourse on Inequality (also known as the Second Discourse) tells the story of all human history to answer one simple question: how did we end up in such an unequal world? David explores the steps Rousseau traces in the fall of humankind and asks whether this is a radical alternative to the vision offered by Hobbes or just a variant on it. Is Rousseau really such a nice philosopher? Free online version of text Recommended version to purchase Going deeper… - Leo Damrosch, Jean Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius (2005) - David Edmonds and John Eidinow, Rousseau’s Dog (2007) - Pankaj Mishra, ‘How Rousseau predicted Trump’, The New Yorker (2016) - (Audio) In Our Time, The Social Contract  

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