History Gone Wrong: Rousseau on Corruption
Kad istorija krene po zlu: Ruso o korupciji
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It can be said that Rousseau is one of the most acute thinkers of the corruption of civilisation. In fact, the Second Discourse and the Essay on the Origins of Languages could be read as elaborate analyses of advancing social and cultural decline inasmuch as mankind is continually moving away from the original state of natural innocence. But Rousseau’s idea of corruption is not straightforward. I try to show that in the Essay, Rousseau emphasizes the natural causes for corruption. I argue that an opposition between necessity and contingency, which more accurately represents the two modes operating in Rousseau’s doctrine, should replace the standard nature/culture divide. The contingency of natural catastrophes is found to be ultimately responsible for the corruption in the social realm, which is therefore largely driven by natural causes.