According to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the morality of man is not corrupted in the state of nature. Rather, he acts upon rote instinct and exhibits the basic functions of an animal. Additionally, the desires of the savage man do not exceed his physicality ( Rousseau 385). He simply desires nourishment, sexual release and rest. As such, his needs can easily be acquired, and he does not cultivate the desire to obtain knowledge or foresight. Furthermore, his perspective does not extend to the future. It is confined to immediate needs, which can be rendered expediently. Through the process of socialization, the nature of man is altered. It nurtures the development of morality and imposes the cultivation of rationality. The process of socialization also initiates the benefits which man gains from the division of labor. Rousseau specifically claims that humans initially existed in small groups, which permitted them to assist each other. Thus, the benefits of distributed labor were manifested, and wealth burgeoned. The growth of wealth fostered a desire
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... process, they do not instigate inequality. The next stage in the socialization process is distinguished by the discovery of agriculture and metallurgy. As these functions depended upon the division of labor, individuals were delegated to tasks based on their abilities. Thus, conflict arose and man wished to "secure their freedom" under a social contract (570). With the completion of the socialization process, man acquired the ability to love. Ultimately, love adopted a metaphysical implication.
According to Rousseau, the faculty of reason stimulates the process of socialization. When the faculty of reason is cultivated, man becomes corrupted by civil society. Consequently, he acquires the ability to love and to lust according to notions of merit and beauty. With the establishment of political institutions, love becomes a social construct.
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