In What Way, According to Rousseau, is Humanity Perverse? - Essay Example

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In What Way, According to Rousseau, is Humanity Perverse?

This essay has examined Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s conception of human perversity. It has further considered the extent that Rousseau’s perspective on human perversity is inconsistent with Kant’s celebration of the Enlightenment. In these contexts of understanding, it’s argued that the main inconsistency between the perspectives is in terms of micro and macro-scales of thought. On an individual scale, Rousseau rejects the Enlightenment as pure progress, while Kant embraces it as an escape for immaturity. Conversely, on a large-scale, both theorists recognize that in rejecting divine sovereignty, society can be entrusted with achieving self-governance through the social contract and categorical imperative. While Rousseau and Kant disagree on the blanket nature of social progress as achieved through the Enlightenment, to a degree it’s clear that Rousseau’s perspective on the social contract and Kant’s perspective on social mores are consistent. The divergence in understanding between Kant and Rousseau’s perspectives on human perversion and social progress are evident when considered from a larger scale. ...Show more


This essay considers Rousseau’s perspective on humanity and evaluates the extent that it is inconsistent with Kant’s celebration of the Enlightenment. For philosophers and historians, the most pronounced shift in these areas occurred in the transition between Medieval Age modes of understanding to Renaissance and Enlightenment thought…
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