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On the corruption of natural man: an analysis of Rousseau's Second Discourse

Grant number: 14/21550-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2015
Effective date (End): December 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Yara Adario Frateschi
Grantee:Johnatas Ximenes Milani
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


This project aims to understand, based on Rousseau's Second Discourse, the process of corruption of natural man upon entering the civil state, paying attention to the elements that enable Rousseau to assert that although society has corrupted man, it was not able to destroy his nature. How is it possible for him to reconcile this statement with the exposure of man's removal process from his natural state and the emergence of a corrupt society? Is it possible that the civil man, slave of opinions and indifferent to their fellows may still have in themselves the virtues of a natural man, free and touched by pity? What elements of this transformation process of the natural man into civil man would enable the understanding of this change by a not irreversible look? Investigating this problem first requires (I) an understanding of man in his natural state, paying attention to his primary characteristics, such as freedom, love of self and pity. Then and foremost, (II) a deepened understanding of the genesis of self-love process and its relation to the characteristic of human perfectibility is necessary, paying attention to the elements that make this a not irreversible process.

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