The Absence of Inequality in the State of Nature and the True Nature of the Savage Man

The Absence of Inequality in the State of Nature and the True Nature of the Savage Man

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Our artificial faculties have made us weak, a weakness that is inherently unnatural. Rousseau asserts, that in order for us to understand man in the state of nature, we must evaluate, and critique the savage man, the man as he exists and survives in the state of nature. Rousseau’s theory of the natural state of man is evidence that he does not agree with the concept of the state of nature as it is theorized by Hobbs; as the state of war of each against all, and Locke’s assertion that natural man is rational and that the state of nature is one where man has the ability to reason. Instead, Locke is of the belief that in his natural state once stripped of the artificial facilities of human invention and improvement, man is basically a beast and it is from here that his natural need for improvement propelled mans creation of a civil, political, society. This unnatural evolution is where man sets the foundation for inequality. Rousseau’s discomfort which the idea that the natural state of man may be both organic and Hierarchical is also evident in his theory of human nature. Unlike philosophers before him, Rousseau theory is able to be more complete because he is able to examine the behavior of man in his natural state and provide a rational argument based on the his understanding of human evolution and comparative human anatomy. Rousseau’s radical new theory of human nature reinforces his belief that the savage man was a peaceful man, but this man was unfulfilled. The natural human need for interaction and human nature reaffirms that the savage man was a man who is peaceful, but he was also unfulfilled. The need for interaction, and the need for improvement in order to find actualization have influenced several important chan...

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...y the development of agriculture, the division of land followed its cultivation; and property became the first rules of justice. Things could have remained equal in this state if talents, use of resources, etc. had been equal, but in civil society or rather, in mans’ ‘state of civility’ natural inequality imperceptibly unfolds together with unequal associations.
Rousseau’s argument is that the only natural inequality among men is the inequality that results from differences in physical strength. As Rousseau goes on to explain that in the state of civility, the creation of social institutions, laws, language, and property and our ability to reason have corrupted the natural [savage] man and resulted in forms of inequality that are not in accordance with the laws of nature. Rousseau calls these unjustifiable, unacceptable forms of inequality moral inequality,

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