3 Pages Essay

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Aristotle/Rousseau essay 3-4 pages

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In the Politics Aristotle argues that man is by nature a political animal, that the political community/polis exists prior to the individual, and that both individuals and political communities aim at the same end: happiness. In his Discourse on the Origin of Inequality Rousseau asserts that man is by nature good, but has been made bad by the institutions and realities of society and politics. Therefore, Rousseau claims, our current society is characterized by “political freedom” which really doesn’t generate any authentic freedom for the vast majority of the population. Who do you think is right about the relationship between political society on the one hand and human freedom, happiness and justice on the other hand – Rousseau or Aristotle (or neither)? Is it possible for justice to exist in a political community, or is it only in what Rousseau refers to as the “original condition of mankind” that we might be able to establish and protect justice?