The City

Mark S. Cladis

in Public Vision, Private Lives

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195125542
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834082 | DOI:
 The City

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Explores analytically the very idea of the state of nature, the inevitability of the Fall, and the nature and origin of moral and physical evil. What is the purpose of Rousseau's state of nature: a scientific, historical account of humans’ prehistory; an eternally valid account of human psychology and sociology; a measuring rod in the hands of a social critic; a fantasy for the nostalgic; a metaphor of solitude; an argument against Hobbes? Rather than having to decide between these, each is explored to see whether Rousseau did not put the state of nature to many uses. The rest of the chapter explores the nature of evil and human culpability in the context of a fall that begins with practical inevitability and ends with limited autonomy.

Keywords: evil; Fall; inevitability; limited autonomy; moral; physical; practical; Rousseau; state of nature

Chapter.  12722 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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