Thursday, October 31, 2002

Rousseau was an idiot.


I've been reading the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, and have been tempted to throw the thing across the room. His deduction of the state of nature is so riddled with errors that I don't see how the book passed the laugh test. Of course, the book has been tremendously influential, most notably on Kant and Heidegger. Never have so many intelligent people been adversely influenced by something so stupid.


Good. I feel better now.


3 comments:

Daniel said...

This post may be 9 years old but MY GOD this is true. How can this still be studied in the modern day?

Laurie said...

My husband is reading Rousseau for a coursera.org course. I am delighted with his descriptions of how Rousseau describes woodland creatures and early humans. "Idiot" is a kind description, too kind for accuracy. At least we aren't as worried about the decline of the US educational system. In order for there to be a decline in educational standards, there has to have been a higher ground.

Brianslog said...

Too right! Anyone who admires Rousseau is also an idiot, or sadly deluded fool to be more exact.