This is a critical study of the political and social ideas of Jean Jacques Rousseau. Charvet analyses Rousseau's arguments in his three main works, The Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, Emile, and The Social Contract. The aim is to show how Rousseau's ideas are interrelated and how their development is governed by presuppositions which entail their ultimate incoherence. he shows that the consequences is a corrupt and destructive view of human society and human relations. These presuppositions are implicit in terms of which social relations are to be rethought. What is good about nature is that in it each individual can pursue his own good innocently without regard to others. It is the attempt to translate this natural egoism into social terms that, Charvet argues, produces the incoherent and destructive view of human society. This importance of the book lies in the originality and the implications of Charvet's critical analysis of this attempted translation, and thus of Rousseau's social philosophy in general.