Arthur Melzer: Rousseau on the Necessity of Hypocrisy in Modern Society

The following video is brought to you courtesy of the PhilosophyInsights YouTube Channel. Click the video below to watch it now.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=sQk3tSAsltA

Arthur Melzer, Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University. February 12, 2010.

In this clip, he talks about Rousseaus view on human nature and the value of sincerity. Melzer tries to explain the Modern overarching cult of sincerity with Rousseau’s insight of hypocrisy as a built-in device in a society of naturally egoistic humans that have to proof to each other to be cooperative. However, contrary to Rousseau Melzer thinks that overvaluing sincerity as the highest good reverses and subverts societal hierarchies in favour of equality because it puts the sincere murder and thief on the same plane as everyone else. In the extreme, it values openness about one’s vices above being virtuous.

Full video quoted under fair use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_IFTYkEUhk


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