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Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau$
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John Plamenatz, Mark Philp, and Zbigniew Pelczynski

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199645060

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645060.001.0001

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Inequality: Its Origins and Effects

Inequality: Its Origins and Effects

(p.192) 13 Inequality: Its Origins and Effects
Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Rousseau

Mark Philp

Z. A. Pelczynski

Oxford University Press

Rousseau’s account of inequality and property is examined, drawing on the Second Discourse and its account of the simultaneous emergence of inequality and social conflict, but also on Emile, Corsica, the Confessions and other texts. Inequality creates dependence (and arrogance), but also difference and separateness, and it makes men aggressive and acquisitive. Remedies for inequality in the Social Contract and other texts are discussed and assessed.

Keywords:   Rousseau, inequality, commerce, progress, wealth, division, conflict, sumptuary laws, censorship, luxury

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