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==The Dispute between Voltaire and Rousseau concerning Progress== The modern criticism of industrial technology first emerged along with industrial technology itself, during the "industrial revolution" of the first half of the nineteenth century. However, the general framework for the debate was set nearly a century earlier, in the divisions that sprang up between the philosophers of the French Enlightenment. Most of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, such as Voltaire and Diderot, held that the development of civilisation and knowledge would inevitably bring social progress. Opposing this view, Jean-Jacques Rousseau held on the contrary that the progress of civilisation, in separating city dwellers from nature, degraded their well-being and corrupted their morals In claiming that the "noble savage" had better morals and sounder pleasures than corrupt city dwellers, Rousseau initiated the view that social reform should aim to release and to direct the "natural" inclinations of individuals. More generally, the dispute between Voltaire and Rousseau set the pattern for subsequent conflicts between those who advocate and believe in social and technological progress, and those who warn about the negative consequences of technical progress. ==References== Jean-Jacques Rousseau, "Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men" (1754) ==Links== *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rousseau [[Category:Historical Roots]]
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