Most notably, forArthur Melzer, man’s purported natural goodness is the foundation of Rousseau’s thought. Pennsylvania State University Press, , Rather, B educates A throughout the texton the appropri ate interpretationof Tahiti. Does Diderot advocate thatEurope model itself afterTahiti? One might, therefore, read Diderot’s Tahitians as emblematic noble savages, and Diderot himself as a primitivist Utopian, longing for a returnto the idyllic simplicity of a Golden Age which persists in theNew World, but which Europe has long since abandoned.

Rather, theycelebrate sex to the extent that it is procreative. Itwill mean an increase of wealth for the hut, and of strengthfor the nation” SV, Wilda Anderson, Diderot’s Dream, What exactly is meant by human nature? First, I examine in greater detail the nature-culture opposition itself. We surmise thatthevery practices which guarantee Tahiti’s felicity would also guarantee Lancer’s Island’s damnation. Or else there is recourse to the castration of males.

Yet Diderot effectively reminds us thatnature itselfproduces crea tureswho, according to the procreative ethic of Tahiti, somehow violate nature’s own tenets,a revealing self-contradictionwhich dispels thenotion of nature as an unimpeachable standard fromwhich to derive correct behavior. We cannot say that the tender familial feelings of Rousseau’s savages are wwnatural, insofar as they are developments of the very natural instinct forpitie.

Introduction Dissertation Supplément Au Voyage De Bougainville ||

While many scholars have elaborated numerous distinctions between the Supplement and the Second Discourse, one might maintain a certain formal similarity in spite of these substantive distinc tions.

Walter Rex goes even further,arguing thatDiderot inadvertently turnsTahiti into a brutal police state. Where Rousseau does provide an original nature, Diderot refuses such a construction. I suggest thatDiderot is engaged in a differentform of political critique fromRousseau, even as Rousseau’s shadow undeniably hovers over his Tahitian reverie. So Tahiti, we infer,will be a society of openness, honesty, trust, and genuine fellow-feeling.


Initially, the discussion focuses upon physical monstrosity, but itquickly veers into a consideration of moral monsters.

Bkugainville and Obstruction, trans. Thus we return to the core distinction between Rousseau and Diderot. Hackett, What, then, are we tomake of the overall lesson of the Supplement?

introduction dissertation supplément au voyage de bougainville

At your age, I’d already been a mother three times. Orou is baffled by the chaplain’s apparent reticence, so the twomen discuss theirrespective sexual ethics during thedays.

Nonetheless, the Profession of Faith does capture a repeated longing on Rousseau’s part, a frequently stated desire to listen for and abide by nature’s voice, despite his acknowledgment that itcan often be difficult to discern this voice. In this “happiest supplékent epochs,” man has come together in communities and acquired the tender affections of fellow-feeling, without yet succumbing to themost violent social passions. Through pitie and reason, we can extend our own amour de soi to others.

Laurence Cooper notes thatwe can dis tinguishbetween two uses of nature inRousseau: A-Or men have their throats cut by a dissertarion.

You never get pregnant. It is impossible to reconcile such dramatic punishments for sexual activitywith Bougainville’s depiction of La Nouvelle Cythere.

introduction dissertation supplément au voyage de bougainville

According toCooper, Emile and the sav ages are “natural” insofaras theymaintain theharmonious condition of orig inal equilibrium in their souls, thus bringing “one’s acquired characteristics into a concordant relationshipwith theoriginal ones. The eighteenth-century ten dency bougajnville ground political and social theorizing upon human nature as a reliable foundation can appear antiquated, ifnot rather sinister, today.


Introduction dissertation supplément au voyage de bougainville

Arthur Wilson, Diderot New York: Rather, Tahitian This content downloaded from There is nomunificent ontology, there is no perfect political system based upon nature’s voice. Indeed, thebirth of new children is a joyful occasion: Indeed, Rousseau’s footnote to thisdescription of “themiddle position” cites exam ples of actually existing savages. Rousseau remains consistently determined to vindicate nature of responsi bility for vice and misery. The surprising resem blance cuts even deeper.

Has God not told everything to our eyes, to our conscience, to our judg ment?

introduction dissertation supplément au voyage de bougainville

Orou admits that”Nature” itselfproduces human beings who cannot reproduce. For, according toOrou, “marital ten derness” and “paternal care”? The punishments fordisobeying theprohibition on non-procreative sex reflecta shocking sever ity: In the innermostpicture, there isTahiti itself. Many regard depictions of nature as a stable, fixed, and benign ideal with suspi cion.