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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Recognizing Artificial Inequalities in Wealth: The Enlightenment Fulfilled?

Kant claims that a greater use of reason is part of becoming enlightened, whereas Rousseau advocates a reduction in the use of reason to that level and simplicity that is natural for human beings (i.e., in the state of nature). That Rousseau's published ideas on reason conflict with the significance of reasoning in becoming enlightened does not mean, however, that Rousseau's reasoning about reason in the state of nature versus in society is not an instance of enlightenment. That is, Rousseau's own use of reason can fit Kant's definition of enlightenment rather than the lesser reasoning that Rousseau prescribes. Is Rousseau's theory on inequalities in wealth therefore enlightened? 

The full essay is at "Rousseau on Inequalities in Society: An Instance of Kantian Enlightenment?"