Jean-Jacques Rouseauu

Topics: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Political philosophy, Age of Enlightenment Pages: 4 (1206 words) Published: June 6, 2014
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
“Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the most important philosophers of the French Enlightenment” ("Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Biography"). Rousseau was born on June 8, 1712 in Geneva, Switzerland. When he was only nine days old his mother, Suzanne Bernard passed away leaving him with his father, Isaac Rousseau, who raised and educated him until he was ten-years-old. “According to Rousseau's own subsequent accounts, the haphazard education that he received from his father included both the inculcation of republican patriotism and the reading of classical authors such as Plutarch who dealt with the Roman republic” (Bertram). By sixteen Rousseau was on his way to Paris where he worked for and learned from Baronne de Warens. After encountering Voltaire and Denis Diderot, Rousseau began writing essays explaining his own theoretical opinions, like they had. Rousseau’s first major piece, Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts, written in 1750 placed first in an essay competition hosted by the Academy of Dijon. This piece not only granted him fame, but also, presented his foundation of beliefs on human nature and political philosophy; “In this work, Rousseau argues that the progression of the sciences and arts has caused the corruption of virtue and morality” (Delaney), meaning new advancements in sciences and the way of thinking (enlightenment thoughts) have caused people to justify actions (rebel) that would have been deemed crimes in previous years. His development of the notion “general will” would impact many aspects of the French Revolution (1789 - 1790) and American politics (1787). Rousseau’s influence on the world would long outlive his own life, ending on July 2, 1778. ("Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778." ) Politically, Jean Jacques Rousseau’s ideas of general will greatly influenced Europe and the Unites States in the late eighteenth century. Rousseau’s idea of general will was rebellious and revolutionary to that of society’s standards...


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