Rousseau's Discourse sets out to explore the origin of inequality among people, a journey that sees him trace the evolution of humans from the savage man to the foundations of civil society. With verve and passion, the philosopher argues that the birth of private property was the "beginning of evil". Throughout the book we are led to consider the development of language, reason, self-preservation, benevolence, pity, and law - all through the lens of perhaps the most original thinker of the 18th century.
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