A Critical Exposition of the Doctrine of Natural Goodness of Humans as the Foundation of Rousseau' Politics

Benneth Chidiebere 75 PAGES (17169 WORDS) Thesis
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The idea that humans are naturally good is an underlying conviction and a compass directing Rousseaus philosophical rumination. Specifically, his position is that men are not naturally egoistic as Hobbes would have us believe but have an inherent quality which disposes them to seek the well-being of others. For him, everything was good as it left the hand of the creator; everything degenerated in the hands of humans. There seems to be an obvious contradiction, how is it that everything which was good as it left the creators hand degenerated in the hands of man whom Rousseau believes is naturally good? Or how come there is so much cruelty and crookedness among humans who are supposed to be naturally good? In answering this question, Rousseau blamed civilization or learning for the decadence prevalent and pervasive among humans. According to Rousseau, there cannot be found in human heart any original perversity of which the moment and manner of its penetration cannot be established. Humans embracement of reason which has engendered advancement in science and arts is in fact not to their advantage. This advancement distorts the virtues of patriotism and morality required to achieve a stable society in which humans are free from domination yet submissive.           

  It is within this purview that this essay assumes its formulation. It is an attempt to critically expose Rousseaus doctrine of natural goodness of humans as a foundation for his politic with particular attention on the nexus or logic between his doctrine of natural goodness and nature state of the human society.

TABLE OF CONTENT

                                                                                                                                     PAGE

Title page…………………………………………………………………………………..i

Certification……………………………………………………………………………….ii

Dedication………………………………………………………………………………...iii

Acknowledgement………………………………………………………………………..iv

Table of Contents………………………………………………………………………....vi

GENERAL INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………….1

CHAPTER ONE:

ROUSSEAUS CHARACTERIZATION OF HUMAN NATURE

1.0 Introduction………………………………………………………………………..5

1.1 The Idea of Human Nature: Analysis and Definition …………………………….6

1.2 The Hobbesian Error: Rousseaus Point of Departure ……………………………7

1.3 Rousseaus Doctrine of Natural Goodness: The Foundation of His Politics ……10

1.4 The Genealogy of Passions………………………………………………………12

1.5      Synopsis…………………………………………………………………………..16

 CHAPTER TWO:

 THE EMERGENCE OF CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE GENERAL WILL                          2.0 Introduction………………………………………………………………………17

2.1 Rousseaus State of Nature………………………………………………………18

2.2 Why Was the Social Contract Needed…………………………………………...22

2.3 The Nature of the Social Contract……………………………………………….24 

2.4 The General Will…................................................................................................27

2.5       Synopsis…………………………………………………….................................31               

CHAPTER THREE:

ROUSSEAUS CRITIQUE OF ENLIGHTENMENT 

3.0 Introduction…………………………………………………………....................32

3.1 Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment……………………………………..33 

3.2 Rousseaus Critique of Enlightenment…………………………………………..38

3.3        Synopsis…………………………………………………………………………46

 

CHAPTER FOUR: 

APPLICATION AND CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF ROUSSEAUS POSITION

4.0 Introduction………………………………………………………………………47

4.1 Faith and Reason: A Clash of Titans?...………………………………………….48

4.2 Over-Confidence in Reason and Its Implications in the Contemporary World….51

4.3 A Critical Appraisal of Rousseaus position……………………………………..55

4.4      Criticisms of Rousseaus Position………………………………………………..59

4.5      Synopsis………………………………………………………………………......63   

GENERAL CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………..64

BIBIOGRAPHY………………………………………………………………………..67


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APA

Benneth, C (2019). A Critical Exposition of the Doctrine of Natural Goodness of Humans as the Foundation of Rousseau' Politics. Afribary.com: Retrieved December 06, 2019, from https://afribary.com/works/the-doctrine-of-natural-goodness-of-man-and-the-politics-of-jean-jacque-rousseau

MLA 8th

Chidiebere, Benneth. "A Critical Exposition of the Doctrine of Natural Goodness of Humans as the Foundation of Rousseau' Politics" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 12 Jul. 2019, https://afribary.com/works/the-doctrine-of-natural-goodness-of-man-and-the-politics-of-jean-jacque-rousseau . Accessed 06 Dec. 2019.

MLA7

Chidiebere, Benneth. "A Critical Exposition of the Doctrine of Natural Goodness of Humans as the Foundation of Rousseau' Politics". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 12 Jul. 2019. Web. 06 Dec. 2019. < https://afribary.com/works/the-doctrine-of-natural-goodness-of-man-and-the-politics-of-jean-jacque-rousseau >.

Chicago

Chidiebere, Benneth. "A Critical Exposition of the Doctrine of Natural Goodness of Humans as the Foundation of Rousseau' Politics" Afribary.com (2019). Accessed December 06, 2019. https://afribary.com/works/the-doctrine-of-natural-goodness-of-man-and-the-politics-of-jean-jacque-rousseau