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The anthropology of Rousseau

Grant number: 15/00556-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2015
Effective date (End): March 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - Ethics
Principal Investigator:Maria das Graças de Souza
Grantee:Mauro Dela Bandera Arco Junior
Supervisor: Andre Charrak
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France  
Associated to the scholarship:13/16441-6 - The anthropology of Rousseau, BP.DR


The main purpose of this project is the analysis of a 18th century philosophical process - especially distinctive of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's work - which consists in explaining the genesis and the functioning of thought and passions in the individual by referring to the primary development of the culture. In two hypothetical narratives (the Discours sur l'origine de l'inégalité and the Essai sur l'origine des langues), Rousseau points out the central problem of anthropology - namely, the transition from nature to culture. By doing this, he clearly resorts to Condillac's theory, without which he could not elaborate his theory of the natural man. Condillac (1715-1780) argues that the operations of the mind appear in a progressive order. Our aim, then, is to recognize some of the similarities between Rousseau's and Condillac's thoughts, pointing out the limits and the differences between these two authors, in order to better understand the movement in Jean-Jacques' philosophy. Other authors - for example, Montesquieu (1689-1755) and Rameau (1683-1764) - who contributed to the development of Rousseau's ideas, either by opposition, or by affinity, will also be considered. (AU)

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