1. What is life like in the state of nature for
a human being, or as Rousseau says, "natural man"?
2. What is "family life" like in the natural state?
3. What is the status of speech and reason in the natural state?
5. On what grounds does he criticize a theorist such as Locke?
6. What according to Rousseau distinguishes human beings from
7. What is the role of compassion or pity in Rousseau's understanding
of natural man? What happens to compassion according to Rousseau
8. What is the foundation for virtue for Rousseau? How does he
distinguish himself from Socrates?
9. How does Rousseau distinguish the physical and moral ingredients
in love? What is the difference between love in the natural and
in the social state?
10. How according to Rousseau does property originate?
11. What is the origin according to Rousseau of the desire for
esteem, jealousy, and conflict?
12. How in Rousseau's analysis does political society or government
arise? To what extent does it serve the common good?
13. What is the origin and progress of inequality among human
14. How does "civilized man" live? Is he happy?
15. Rousseau writes of the terrible despotism of human life in
"the last degree of inequality," and the possibility
of revolutions dissolving the government and bringing it back
to legitimacy. What might he mean by legitimacy in this context?
What would make government legitimate?
16. Does Rousseau hold out any hope for human beings once they
have left the natural condition?
1. How does Rousseau's account of the state of nature
differ from Locke's?