In front of a pair of hefty fortress gates at the state of Wei, billowing dust obscured the silhouette of an old man. The visitor’s reputation preceded him. He requested an audience with the king. This man was Mencius, from the 300s BCE.
Among Rousseau’s greatest concerns was human dividedness. How does Rousseau suggest solving this problem? After leading a seminar organized by the Yale Buckley Program in June, Professor Benjamin Storey at Furman University sat down with The Politic over Zoom to offer some explanations.
As we study in university, passing daily through an academic institution (toward our next station in life), Rousseau suspects we are only contributing to the deterioration of societal morals. “Morals” for Rousseau translates the French word mœurs, which is used in the general sense encompassing social manners, norms, and custom. From a thinker of the Enlightenment period, Rousseau’s stance inspires a double take.