Discussion Questions on Rousseau's Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, Part II
1. Read note 15 on page 106. In that note, Rousseau distinguishes "egocentrism" (which translates "amour propre") from "love of oneself" (which translates "amour de soi"). How do these differ? Why is amour propre not found before the development of society and of complex mental functions? Is amour propre entirely negative in its content and consequences?
2. What is the story of the origin of inequalities within society?
3. Rousseau clearly regards many social inequalities as bad. Which ones? Why? What's wrong with inequalities?
4. How does Rousseau's account of the origin of property compare to Locke's?