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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rousseau on Economic Inequality

In his Discourse on Inequalities, Rousseau distinguishes two types of inequality among people: natural and moral. Natural inequalities, which exist in the state of nature as well as society, result in difference outcomes owing to innate differences in “genius, beauty, strength or address, merit or talents.” Such differences—both in sources and outcomes—pale in comparison with those from “moral” inequalities, such as exist between rich and poor, professionals and the unskilled, and the powerful and the subjugated.

The full essay is at "Rousseau on Economic Inequalities: Natural vs. Artificial"