Jean-Jacques Rousseau the French Philosopher

Topics: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Political philosophy, David Hume Pages: 4 (779 words) Published: April 16, 2014


Jean-Jacques Rousseau the French Philosopher

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born June 28, 1712 in Geneva, Switzerland, to French Huguenot parents, Isaac Rousseau, a clock maker, and Suzanne Bernard, who died only a few days after his birth. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the most important philosophers of the French enlightenment. During the 1700s the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau criticized what he saw as his era’s excessive reliance on reason and claimed that people should rely more on instinct and emotion. Rousseau became a leading thinker and writer of his day. Rousseau was also a composer and music theorist. At the age of 13 he was apprenticed to an engraver. However, at 16 in 1728 he left this trade to travel, but quickly become secretary and companion to Madame Louise de Warens. This relationship was unusual. Twelve years his senior she was in turns a mother figure, a friend and a lover. Under her patronage he developed a taste for music. In 1732, Rousseau set himself up as a music teacher in Chambery and began a period of intense self-education. In 1740 he worked as a tutor to the two sons of M. de Mably in Lyon. It was not a very successful experience nor was his other episodes of tutoring. In 1742 he moved to Paris. There he became a close friend of David Diderot, who was to commission him to write articles on music for the French Encyclopedia. Through the sponsorship of a number of society women he became the personal secretary to the French ambassador to Venice a position from which he was quickly fired for not having the ability to put up with a boss whom he viewed as stupid and arrogant. He believed that human beings were naturally good but that civilization and institutions were corrupting. He urged people to throw off civilization and return to nature, as far as that was possible. In 1760 he published La Nouvelle Heloise, a novel that described the beauties of nature and the pleasures of simple country life. The book...


Cited: Wikipedia contributors. "Jean-Jacques Rousseau." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 29 Oct. 2013. Web. 30 Oct. 2013
"Jean-Jacques Rousseau." 2013. The Biography Channel website. Oct 30 2013, 11:35
"Jean-Jacques Rousseau". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 30 Oct. 2013
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