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Discourse on Inequality

Jean-Jacques Rousseau


Key Facts

full title  ·  Discourse on the Origin and the Foundations of Inequality among men.

author  ·  Jean Jacques Rousseau

time and place written  ·  November 1753 - June 1754, France.

date of first publication  ·  May 1755

purpose  ·  The Discourse was written as a Prize Essay for the Dijon Academy of Arts and Sciences. Rousseau's first Discourse, on the Arts and Sciences won first prize in the same competition in 1751. This one did not.

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Changes in opinion of others over time

by dwgreco, March 29, 2016

A central idea of Rousseau was that “modern people exist within an ever-increasing system of needs in which the opinion of others is vitally important, is hugely influential.”


1. Over the course of human history has the opinion of others become increasingly more important to the average individual, so that, for example, today the opinion of others is more important than it was to the average person 100 years ago, 200 years ago, 1000 years ago etc.?

2. As the average person alive today gets older, do the op... Read more


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