Philosophic Anthropology in Rousseau and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
George Mason University School of Law
October 12, 2010
APPLE OF GOLD IN PICTURES OF SILVER: HONORING THE WORK OF LEON R. KASS, Yuval Levin, Thomas W. Merrill, Adam Schulman, eds., Lexington Books, 2010
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 10-52
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the most durably influential critic of classic modern liberalism, maintained that the optimal conditions for human happiness existed only in a pre-political and pre-legal world. This essay, prepared for a festschrift honoring the philosopher and biologist Leon Kass, examines Rousseau’s claim in light of new evidence provided by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, a contemporary anthropologist and naturalist. The essay argues that Marshall’s findings, along with others provided by modern science, confirm and enrich the core elements of Rousseau’s analysis.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Keywords: Aristotle, Bantus, De Anima, Discourse on Inequality, Bushmen, Evolution, Hottentots, Hunter-Gatherers, Ju/wasi, Kalahari, Laws of Mechanics, Lions, Lucretius, Old Way, Orangutans, Perfection, Politics, Soul, State of Nature, Xaro
Date posted: October 13, 2010
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