Jean Jacques Rousseau: Enlightenment Philosopher and Social Reformer

Classified in Philosophy and ethics

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Jean Jacques Rousseau

1. Historical Context

It occurs in eighteenth century France, with the confrontation between the bourgeoisie and nobility that will lead to the French Revolution. Picture emerges as a movement to liberation and human happiness as a liberation movement to human happiness and progress through reason.

The reason is the instrument that enables human societies to adapt to the natural laws thus opening the field for searching and researching new social and cultural laws. The philosophy of research into new social and cultural laws. Rousseau's philosophy is that social order must be in accordance with the laws of nature.

2. Framework Sociocultural

Will come determined, in the field of arts and literature, the emergence of big names in music Mozart and Boch, Pepe and Goetle in poetry, and Defane Swift novel. On the other hand within the scientific advances must be mentioned: the hypothesis of Laplace the solar system formed from a nebula, the invention of the thermometer of Fahrenheit and Lavoisier hand to create a new idea of ​​science, Chemistry and Linnaeus and Buffan give new impetus to the natural sciences and biology.

3. Philosophical Framework

Enlightenment philosophy highlights taking place at this time the work of the neciclopedistas. The illustration is when the English Revolution, takes place until the French Revolution. The claim of the Enlightenment movement is to liberate human beings from all the chains that bind him, whether political, intellectual and therefore be claimed Reason, enlightened reason, as an instrument of progress that will serve to dissolve all the prejudices and achieve an era of liberation and happiness for all human beings. The terms that define the objectives of the Enlightenment: reason, progress, freedom and happiness.

4. Reality and Society

The central ideas of Rousseau will be the arts and sciences originate in the vices of society, which can not contribute to the improvement of morals, ie, progress, and that this, this progress intellectual and scientific only thing it serves is to increase inequality between human beings and not about mitigation. What Rousseau is going to do the opposite of advocating the figure, namely, devalue the culture, reason and society, and enhance, in turn, the natural man, free of social ties and sentiment.

According to Rousseau, in his state of nature human beings are good and enjoy all their rights and freedoms. However, in this state of nature man has big problems of subsistence, leading to associate with other human beings to overcome these problems. By forming a society, human beings lose their freedom and rights enjoyed in the natural state. The institution through which society is to avoid the problems of subsistence, is the division of labor.

Rousseau will consider the division of labor, ie the institution that pushes society forward, is what causes inequality among men. This inequality instead of advancing to the man, corrupt, corrupt nature that is inherently good and makes an enemy of other men.

So Rousseau speaks of the need for social contact to reform society and return to human freedom and equality lost. This social contract is not given for founding the society, but to make it human, would be established between the components of the community, and he would give up their rights, not society, but to the general will, so that by adhering to this will generally obey themselves. E this way humans would regain their freedom, since the general will is the will of all, it would regain equality, for the same reason, and we could talk about social progress. The resulting political system is rousseanianas theories of liberty in the purest sense, which is not surprising that revolutionary of all times take Rousseau as intellectual reference.

5. Human Being

The fundamental impulse of man is the honor himself. Human needs are the passions and the need and desire of primitive man was a physicist, so his primary concern was self-preservation. Rousseau takes care to make clear that we must not confuse the passion of love of self with selfishness. Selfishness comes to society and has less to do with love itself and with the desire to be preferred to others. So that this desire is necessary to make comparisons between oneself and other individuals and the state of nature are not the conditions for possible comparison. For Rousseau, all human morality is based on these feelings, human morality may aim to remove them, but on the contrary, develop. That is why education for our author, but rather the reform of education, is critical.

6. God

What the heart is ample evidence when asked is the foundation of every theoretical position and attitude throughout practice. The man feels like a limited and humbled, overwhelmed by the immensity of nature and connected, through a sense of confidence, a powerful and wise God. Here's an immediate, no need of intermediaries. All impurity of reason upset by the selfishness of the culture should be removed in order to reach that state of complete sincerity, where intimate identify with the universal.

7. Knowledge

Exalt the intuition against rationalism prevailing at the time. For Rousseau, morality is the unimpeded development of man's natural senses. Although adirma that reason and reflection have to play a role in the development of morality, and the basic element in this development is the feeling. But we must understand the term immediately conmprehesion feeling of reality, as intuition, rather than a sense of passion.

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