What is the origin of inequality among men, and is it authorized by natural law?

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau translated by George Douglas Howard Cole On a subject proposed by the Academy of Dijon: What is the origin of inequality among men, and is it authorized by natural law? Non in depravatis, sed in his qua bene secundum naturamse habent, considerandum est quid sit naturale. Aristotle, Politics, Bk. i, ch. 2. […]

Has the restoration of the arts and sciences had a purifying effect upon mortals?

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau translated by George Douglas Howard Cole Which won the prize at the Academy of Dijon in 1750, on this question proposed by the Academy: Has the restoration of the arts and sciences had a purifying effect upon mortals? Barbaras his ego sum, qui non intelligor illis.—OVID.[1] Preface The following pages contain a […]

TSCD: Book IV, Chapters VII, VIII, and IX

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau translated by George Douglas Howard Cole CHAPTER VII: THE CENSORSHIP As the law is the declaration of the general will, the censorship is the declaration of the public judgment: public opinion is the form of law which the censor administers, and, like the prince, only applies to particular cases. The censorial tribunal, […]

TSCD: Book IV, Chapters IV, V, and VI

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau translated by George Douglas Howard Cole CHAPTER IV: THE ROMAN COMITIA We are without well-certified records of the first period of Rome’s existence; it even appears very probable that most of the stories told about it are fables; indeed, generally speaking, the most instructive part of the history of peoples, that which […]

TSCD: Book IV, Chapters I, II, and III

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau translated by George Douglas Howard Cole CHAPTER I: THAT THE GENERAL WILL IS INDESTRUCTIBLE As long as several men in assembly regard themselves as a single body, they have only a single will which is concerned with their common preservation and general well-being. In this case, all the springs of the State […]

TSCD: Book III, Chapters XV, XVI, XVII, and XVIII

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau translated by George Douglas Howard Cole CHAPTER XV: DEPUTIES OR REPRESENTATIVES As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall. When it is necessary to march out […]

TSCD: Book III, Chapters X, XI, XII, XIII, and XIV

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau translated by George Douglas Howard Cole CHAPTER X: THE ABUSE OF GOVERNMENT AND ITS TENDENCY TO DEGENERATE As the particular will acts constantly in opposition to the general will, the government continually exerts itself against the Sovereignty. The greater this exertion becomes, the more the constitution changes; and, as there is in […]

TSCD: Book III, Chapters VII, VIII, and IX

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau translated by George Douglas Howard Cole CHAPTER VII: MIXED GOVERNMENTS Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a simple government. An isolated ruler must have subordinate magistrates; a popular government must have a head. There is therefore, in the distribution of the executive power, always a gradation from the greater to […]

TSCD: Book III, Chapters IV, V, and VI

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau translated by George Douglas Howard Cole CHAPTER IV: DEMOCRACY He who makes the law knows better than any one else how it should be executed and interpreted. It seems then impossible to have a better constitution than that in which the executive and legislative powers are united; but this very fact renders […]

TSCD: Book III, Chapters I, II, and III

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau translated by George Douglas Howard Cole Before speaking of the different forms of government, let us try to fix the exact sense of the word, which has not yet been very clearly explained. CHAPTER I: GOVERNMENT IN GENERAL I warn the reader that this chapter requires careful reading, and that I am […]

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