Rousseau's Conceptual Philosophies Term Paper by scribbler

Rousseau's Conceptual Philosophies
A brief overview of Rousseau's conceptual philosophies.
# 152376 | 847 words | 1 source | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on Feb 03, 2013 in Philosophy (General)

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This paper discusses Rousseau's belief that humanity is born 'good', and the more we surround ourselves with the natural beauty of the world, the more our natural virtue and morality will emerge. The paper then relates Rousseau's belief that we are born free, and the manner in which one uses his freedom directly influences the amount of happiness he experiences, Furthermore, the paper explains Rousseau's idea that man should not rely on others to restrict his freedoms, but should develop his own sense of duty toward necessity. In addition, the paper discusses Rousseau's assertion that while a parent is charged with instilling the proper values into the child, some things can only be learned through experience, and it is through our senses that we are able to truly absorb these experiences.

From the Paper:

"Rousseau believed that the nature of humanity is generally good, but that outside influences corrupt us: "Everything is good as it leaves the hands of the author of things, everything degenerates in the hands of man" (I.10-11). Essentially, Rousseau believed that goodness is our natural state, but we learn evils as we progress through life and experience its various disappointments. However, in Rousseau's view, if mankind were to become closer to nature, then he would be more likely to revert back to his natural state. In other words, the more we surround ourselves with the natural beauty of the world, the more our natural virtue and morality will emerge.
"In addition to being born 'good', Rousseau also believed that we are born free. We have the will to decide whether to choose virtuous acts over immoral ones, and this is what makes humans special: "The only man who follows his own will is he who has no need to put another man's arms at the end of his own. From this it follows that the greatest good is not authority but freedom. The truly free man wants only what he can do and does what he pleases. This is my fundamental maxim. Apply it to childhood, and all the rules of education spring from it" (II.232-235)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Rousseau, Jean Jacques Emile, or On Education, Columbia University. 1762. Web.

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