Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
1. Explain the two notions of self-love presented in Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. (made sure to see Note XV on p. 218)
a. Explain what Rousseau means by the terms amour de soi-même (self-love) and amour-propre (vanity). While both terms can be translated as “self-love”, the first is translated as “self-love” while the second is translated as “vanity.” These are two forms of love or desire. Make sure to explain the differences in the nature of the desire, including the object and magnitude of each type including issues of self-sufficiency and dependence, the role of “ideas of merit,” and the role of comparison and competition.
b. One form of self-love is considered good and leads to human happiness, while the other is considered bad and leads to unhappiness and misery. Which is which? And, why is one good and one bad?
c. If the origins of political, social and economic inequality reside in the historical transformation from of eros or self-love, from amour de soi-même to amour-propre, explain how Rousseau believes this transformation occurred. What does Rousseau identify as some of the key physical and psychological developments which caused this transformation?