• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

MAN is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself

Extracts from this document...


MAN is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave then they. How did this change come about? I do not know. How can it be legitimate? That question I think I can answer. (Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 1997) Jean- Jacques Rousseau was born on the 25th of June 1712 in Geneva, Switzerland. He was reared by his aunt and uncle as his mother died shortly after childbirth and his father abandoned him. At the age of sixteen he left Geneva he travelled for fourteen years before settling in Paris in 1742. In 1751 Rousseau began his philosophical works with his essay on the arts and sciences and went on to write other famous works such as the Social Contract. Rousseau also made a text of his own life 'his confessions and Rousseau judge of Jean-Jacques are apologies for what went wrong' (McClelland, J.S 1996) Rousseau's philosophical thinking was somewhat complicated he tried to grasp an emotional and passionate side of mankind. Rousseau's political philosophy had two important principals. The first and foremost being that politics and morality should not be separated and the second principal is freedom which the state should do it's utmost to preserve. ...read more.


"The problem is to find a form of association which will defend and protect with the Whole common force the person and goods of each associate, and which each, While uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone, and remain as free As before" This is the fundamental problem for which the social contract finds the solution. (Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 1997) For this to happen everyone has to give themselves up to the general will and if everyone else will do the same their will be a social contract. This public person, so formed by the union of all other persons formerly took the name of city and now takes that of Republic or body politic; it is called by its members State when passive. Sovereign when active, and power when compared with others like itself. Those who are associated in it take collectively the name of people. (Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 1997) For Rousseau this society is free as decisions made by the General will are unpredictable and each man consulting his own self interest is consulting the self interest of every other man. He believes that the social contract gives people the chance to choose their own system of values by which all of the society will live by. ...read more.


He was above all a man of the people and he attempted to find for mankind a solution to the mess he claimed civil society was in. He outlined the problem that men in civil society had in his confessions and the discourse on the origins of inequality and in his work the social contract he attempted to find a solution to the problems. His solution was the general will, according to Rousseau the general will allows men to be free even if they have to be coerced into accepting the general will. Rousseau gives us a great insight into the state and nature of political communities, we learn that men will naturally act in there own self interest but when this self interest is the general will each man acting in his own self interest is also acting in the interest of all society. He teaches us that morality and reason are the basis for all legitimate government. If a Government fails to respect the morality and reason of the individuals it represents it fails to be legitimate and therefore it fails to exist. The constitution of man is the work of nature; that of the state the work of art. It is not in men's power to prolong their own lives; but it is for them to prolong as much as possible the life of the state by giving it the best possible constitution. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. What did Rousseau mean by 'liberty'?

    in accordance with their nature...But as soon as one man needed the help of another, as soon as one man realized that it was useful for a single individual to have provisions for two, equality disappeared, property came into existence, labour became necessary.

  2. Determining the Elite within Politics and the Judiciary.

    clear-cut and judges often have a wide area of discretion in which to enforce their personal ideologies. This is not necessarily a deliberate attempt by judges to impose their own views on the rest of us; moreover, it is a sign of weakness in the structure of our laws.

  1. Money and Power still remains with Caucasians

    study and if there are any changes needed to be made one out of the six will to spot it. Results All six of my questionnaires came back, which means that I can carry out a bigger survey, as I know I will get returns.

  2. Jean Jacques Rousseau.

    Rousseau's worldview was based on agnosticism: he excluded the possibility of rational understanding of the essence of matter and consciousness because mind always leads to confusion. What is real is our sensual perception of the world.

  1. "No matter what class we are born into we are all equal under the ...

    However, with poorer families legal aid would be the only possibility and that would be limited so usually their case can be very weak. And coming from a lower class area might see him/her not as respectful as a businessman.

  2. Children are born to succeed or fail

    This was proved from the results in my questionnaire. It showed that people from a lower class background would just like to raise a family and buy a house and car whereas somebody from a middle or upper class background has higher aims and wants to go on to further education and get a highly paid job.

  1. Modernity - a philosophical disposition

    The !Kung assimilated to the class system and became victim to commodity fetishism. The new found obsession with material goods led to the internal conflict within the !Kung. Thus, it is seen that the culture of the !Kung was placed into conflict and destroyed by the implementation of modernity.

  2. Edith Wharton was born Edith Newbold Jones to parents who had a proud position ...

    (chapter 1 pg 3) We are introduced to the Van Der Luyden's in chapter 7. They epitomize the Old New Yorkers who find the thought of their codes and conventions being overlooked utterly daunting.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work