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Unmanly Citizens: Jean-Jacques Rousseau's and Germaine De Stael's Subversive Women by Lori Jo Marso


 Rousseau's Republican Romance

Rousseau's Republican Romance
by Elizabeth Rose Wingrove

Jean Jacques Rousseau 
1712 - 1778

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The Autobiography of Philosophy : Rousseau's the Reveries of the Solitary Walker

Rousseau Time Line


Rousseau Association

From Wabash College.  This page is produced and maintained by the Rousseau Association, a bilingual, international, interdisciplinary society devoted to the study of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. For information about the Rousseau Association, click here.

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bulletRousseau's Life and Work in Postcards by Jean-Jacques Monney (available in English, French, Japanese, and Chinese)
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau

From The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


French deistic philosopher and author; b. at Geneva June 28, 1712; d. at Ermenonville (28 m. n.e. of Paris) July 2, 1778. His mother died at his birth, and his father, a dissipated and violent-tempered man, paid little attention to the son's training, and finally deserted him. The latter developed a passion for reading, with a special fondness for Plutarch's Lives. Apprenticed first to a notary and then to a coppersmith, he ran away (1728) to escape the rigid discipline, and, after wandering for several days, he fell in with Roman Catholic priests at Consignon in Savoy, who turned him over to Madame de Warens at Annecy, and she sent him to an educational institution at Turin. Here he duly abjured Protestantism, and next served in various households, in one of which he was charged with theft. After more wanderings he was at Chambery (1730), from which Madame de Warens had removed. In her household he spent eight years diverting himself in the enjoyment of nature, the study of music, the reading of the English, German, and French philosophers and chemistry, pursuing the study of mathematics and Latin, and enjoying the playhouse and opera. He next spent eighteen months at Venice as secretary of the French ambassador, Comte de Montaignu (1744-45). Up to this time, when he was thirty-nine, his life, the details of which he publishes in his Confessions (Geneva, 1782), may be described as subterranean. He now returned to Paris, where his opera Les Muses galantes failed, copied music, and was secretary of Madame Dupin. Here he came into association with Diderot, Grimm, D'Alembert, Holbach, and Madame d'Epinay, and was admitted as a contributor to the Encyclopedie; and his gifts of entertainment, reckless manner, and boundless vanity attracted attention. With the Discours sur les sciences et les arts (Paris, 1750), a prize essay in which he set forth the paradox of the superiority of the savage state, he proclaimed his gospel of "back to nature."...


Rousseau Biography

From The Window:  Philosophy on the Internet

A member of DIDEROT's circle, he was one of the great figures of the French ENLIGHTENMENT and probably the most significant of those who shaped 19th-cent. ROMANTICISM, influencing such figures as KANT, GOETHE, ROBESPIERRE, TOLSTOY, and the French revolutionists. Rousseau's most celebrated theory was that of the "natural man." In his Discourse on the Inequalities of Men (1754) and Social Contract (1762) he maintained that human beings were essentially good and equal in the state of nature but were corrupted by the introduction of property, agriculture, science, and commerce. People entered into a SOCIAL CONTRACT among themselves, establishing governments and educational systems to correct the inequalities brought about by the rise of civilization. Émile (1762), a didactic novel, expounds Rousseau's theory that education is not the imparting of knowledge but the drawing out of what is already in the child. From the 1760s Rousseau was tormented by persecution mania, and he lived his later years in seclusion. His Confessions (1781) created a new, intensely personal style of autobiography...


Rousseau Biography

From Lucidcafť.


Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born on June 28, 1712 in Geneva, Switzerland. His mother died shortly after his birth. When Rousseau was 10 his father fled from Geneva to avoid imprisonment for a minor offense, leaving young Jean-Jacques to be raised by an aunt and uncle. Rousseau left Geneva at 16, wandering from place to place, finally moving to Paris in 1742. He earned his living during this period, working as everything from footman to assistant to an ambassador.

Rousseau's profound insight can be found in almost every trace of modern philosophy today. Somewhat complicated and ambiguous, Rousseau's general philosophy tried to grasp an emotional and passionate side of man which he felt was left out of most previous philosophical thinking...


Rousseau Biography

From Garth Kemerling's Philosophy Pages.


As a brilliant and self-educated (but undisciplined and unconventional) thinker, Jean-Jacques Rousseau spent most of his life being driven by controversy back and forth between Paris and his native Geneva. His autobiographical Les Confessions (Confessions) (1783) offer a thorough (if somewhat self-serving) account of his turbulent life...


Rousseau Biography

From The History Guide.


The most enigmatic of all the philosophies of the 18th century Enlightenment, the political philosopher, educationist and essayist, Jean Jacques Rousseau, was born at Geneva on June 28th, 1712. His mother died in childbirth. In 1722 his father, involved in a brawl, left him to the care of his relations. Without any formal education except his own reading of Plutarch's Lives and a collection of Calvinist sermons, he was employed first by a notary who found him incompetent and then by an engraver who treated him so poorly that in 1728 he ran away. Feigning enthusiasm for Catholicism, he was sent to Madame de Warens who, separated from her husband, became a convert to Catholicism and assisted other converts. She sent Rousseau to Turin to be baptized and there he eventually found employment with a shopkeeper's wife whose lover he became until her husband's return. After short spells as footman and secretary, he returned to Annecy and to Madame de Warens. He became her general factotum and lover, joined the local choir school to complete his education and picked up a fair knowledge of Italian music...


Du Contrat Social, ou Principes du droit politique

From the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913): The Social Contract


Du Contrat Social, ou Principes du droit politique, is the title of a work written by J.J. Rousseau and published in 1762. From the time of his stay at Venice, about 1741, Rousseau had in mind a large treatise dealing with "Les institutions politiques". The Contrat Social is but a fragment of this treatise...


Rousseau -- The First Romantic

A history of pantheism and scientific pantheism by Paul Harrison.


Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the most influential political philosopher of the eighteenth century. Born in Geneva in 1712, he favored a radical form of direct democracy, based on the Swiss model. He was also in favor of economic, social and political equality.

In his hostility to many aspects of science, and in his passionate nature-worship, Rousseau was a precursor of the Romantics.

Rousseau took an ambiguous stance towards Christianity. He seems to have admired the religion of the gospel as "saintly, sublime and true" as well as egalitarian, recognizing all men as brothers, children of the same God. But he vigorously condemned post-Augustine and Catholic Christianity. In his eyes it detached people from earthly concerns, and laid them open to tyranny and slavery. Rousseau claimed that the ideal state would have to have a state religion, but this would be concerned with social obligations rather than supernatural beliefs...



bulletconomie Politique 
bulletDiscours sur L'economie Politique
bulletDiscours sur L'economie Politique 
bulletDu Contrat Social
bulletLes rÍveries du promeneur solitaire


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