Philosophic Anthropology in Rousseau and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

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

31 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2010  

Nelson Lund

George Mason University School of Law

Date Written: October 12, 2010

Abstract

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.

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

Suggested Citation

Lund, Nelson, Philosophic Anthropology in Rousseau and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (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. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1691237

Nelson Robert Lund (Contact Author)

George Mason University School of Law ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8045 (Phone)

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