return to list of latest ideas

Single Idea 19763

[catalogued under 25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / b. The natural life]

Full Idea

I ask if anyone has ever heard tell of a savage who was living in liberty ever dreaming of complaining about his life and of killing himself.

Gist of Idea

I doubt whether a savage person ever complains of life, or considers suicide


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality [1754], Part I)

A Reaction

Rousseau's state of nature is much too remote from any current tribal life for this to be tested. It is a nice speculation. Do apes ever attempt suicide?

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.52