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A Discourse on Inequality Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 2, A Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences, Part II Summary

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Chapter 2, A Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences, Part II Summary and Analysis

Rousseau begins the second part by arguing that many civilizations have believed that science arose from an enemy of humanity, or superstition. Pride created ethics, geometry of greed, and physics from idleness. And the evil beginning is reproduced in their objects. Arts require luxury; the law would be pointless without injustice. History would be empty if there were no tyrants, wars, etc.

The effects of the sciences are dangerous; they generate idleness and make it possible not to produce good in the world. The more we know, the more time for mischief we have. Our labors seem to matter little, but Rousseau thinks true idleness would return us to the original state of society. Wasting time today is evil...

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This section contains 516 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our A Discourse on Inequality Study Guide
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A Discourse on Inequality from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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