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Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His
political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...

political philosophy
influenced the progress of the
Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * Age of Enlightenment, period in Western intellectual history from the late 17th to late 18th century, centered in France but also encompassing: ** Midlands Enlightenment ...
throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political, economic, and educational thought. His ''
Discourse on Inequality Image:DOI Rousseau.jpg, 350px, Frontispiece and title page of an edition of Rousseau's ''Discourse on Inequality'' (1754), published by Marc-Michel Rey in 1755 in Holland. ''Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men'' (french: Disc ...
'' and ''
The Social Contract ''The Social Contract'', originally published as ''On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Political Right'' (french: Du contrat social; ou Principes du droit politique) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 â ...
'' are cornerstones in modern political and social thought. Rousseau's
sentimental novel The sentimental novel or the novel of sensibility is an 18th-century literary genre which celebrates the emotional and intellectual concepts of sentiment Sentiment may refer to: *Feeling Feeling was originally used to describe the physical s ...
'' Julie, or the New Heloise'' (1761) was important to the development of preromanticism and
romanticism Romanticism (also known as the Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe towards the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to ...
in fiction. His ''
Emile, or On Education ''Emile, or On Education'' (french: Émile, ou De l’éducation) is a treatise on the nature of education and on the nature of Human, man written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who considered it to be the "best and most important" of all his writings. ...
'' (1762) is an educational treatise on the place of the individual in society. Rousseau's autobiographical writings—the posthumously published '' Confessions'' (composed in 1769), which initiated the modern autobiography, and the unfinished '' Reveries of the Solitary Walker'' (composed 1776–1778)—exemplified the late 18th-century " Age of Sensibility", and featured an increased focus on
subjectivity Subjectivity in a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality is the sum ...
and introspection that later characterized modern writing. Rousseau befriended fellow philosopher
Denis Diderot Denis Diderot (; ; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities ...

Denis Diderot
in 1742, and would later write about Diderot's romantic troubles in his ''Confessions''. During the period of the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
, Rousseau was the most popular of the philosophers among members of the
Jacobin Club , logo = JacobinVignette03.jpg , logo_size = 180px , logo_caption = Seal of the Jacobin Club (1792–1794) , motto = "Live free or die"(french: Vivre libre ou mourir) , successor = Pa ...
. He was interred as a national hero in the
Panthéon The Panthéon (, from the Classical Greek word , , ' empleto all the gods') is a monument in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, France. It stands in the Latin Quarter, atop the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, in the center of the Place du Panthéo ...

Panthéon
in Paris, in 1794, 16 years after his death.


Biography


Youth

Rousseau was born in
Geneva , neighboring_municipalities= Carouge Carouge () is a Municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland. History Carouge is first mentioned in the Early Middle Ages as ''Quadruvium'' and ''Quatruvio''. In 124 ...

Geneva
, which was at the time a
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
and a Protestant associate of the
Swiss Confederacy The Old Swiss Confederacy or Swiss Confederacy, Swiss Confederation (Modern German New High German (NHG) is the term used for the most recent period in the history of the German language, starting in the 17th century. It is a translation of t ...
(now a
canton Canton may refer to: Administrative division terminology * Canton (administrative division) A canton is a type of administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative r ...
of
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
). Since 1536, Geneva had been a
Huguenot The Huguenots ( , also , ) were a Religious denomination, religious group of French people, French Protestantism, Protestants who held to the Reformed, or Calvinist, tradition of Protestantism. The term, which may be derived from the name of a ...

Huguenot
republic and the seat of
Calvinism Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Refor ...
. Five generations before Rousseau, his ancestor Didier, a bookseller who may have published Protestant tracts, had escaped persecution from French Catholics by fleeing to Geneva in 1549, where he became a wine merchant. Rousseau was proud that his family, of the ''moyen'' order (or middle-class), had voting rights in the city. Throughout his life, he generally signed his books "Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Citizen of Geneva". Geneva, in theory, was governed "democratically" by its male voting "citizens". The citizens were a minority of the population when compared to the immigrants, referred to as "inhabitants", whose descendants were called "natives" and continued to lack suffrage. In fact, rather than being run by vote of the "citizens", the city was ruled by a small number of wealthy families that made up the "Council of Two Hundred"; these delegated their power to a 25-member executive group from among them called the "Little Council". There was much political debate within Geneva, extending down to the tradespeople. Much discussion was over the idea of the sovereignty of the people, of which the ruling class oligarchy was making a mockery. In 1707, a democratic reformer named
Pierre Fatio Pierre Fatio (7 November 1662 Р6 September 1707) was a lawyer and politician in the Republic of Geneva Geneva ( ; french: Gen̬ve ; frp, Gen̬va ; german: link=no, Genf ; it, Ginevra ; rm, Genevra) is the List of cities in Switzerland, s ...
protested this situation, saying "a sovereign that never performs an act of sovereignty is an imaginary being". He was shot by order of the Little Council. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's father,
Isaac Isaac, ''Isaák''; ar, إسحٰق/إسحاق, ; am, ይስሐቅ is one of the three patriarchs The highest-ranking bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is gene ...
, was not in the city at this time, but Jean-Jacques's grandfather supported Fatio and was penalized for it. Rousseau's father, Isaac Rousseau, followed his grandfather, father and brothers into the watchmaking business. He also taught dance for a short period. Isaac, notwithstanding his artisan status, was well educated and a lover of music. Rousseau wrote that "A Genevan watchmaker is a man who can be introduced anywhere; a Parisian watchmaker is only fit to talk about watches". In 1699, Isaac ran into political difficulty by entering a quarrel with visiting English officers, who in response drew their swords and threatened him. After local officials stepped in, it was Isaac who was punished, as Geneva was concerned with maintaining its ties to foreign powers. Rousseau's mother, Suzanne Bernard Rousseau, was from an upper-class family. She was raised by her uncle Samuel Bernard, a Calvinist preacher. He cared for Suzanne after her father, Jacques, who had run into trouble with the legal and religious authorities for fornication and having a mistress, died in his early 30s. In 1695, Suzanne had to answer charges that she had attended a street theater disguised as a peasant woman so she could gaze upon M. Vincent Sarrasin, whom she fancied despite his continuing marriage. After a hearing, she was ordered by the
Genevan Consistory The Genevan Consistory (french: Consistoire de Genève, links=no) is a council of the Protestant Church of Geneva similar to a synod A synod () is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or applicat ...

Genevan Consistory
to never interact with him again. She married Rousseau's father at the age of 31. Isaac's sister had married Suzanne's brother eight years earlier, after she had become pregnant and they had been chastised by the Consistory. The child died at birth. The young Rousseau was told a fabricated story about the situation in which young love had been denied by a disapproving patriarch but later prevailed, resulting in two marriages uniting the families on the same day. Rousseau never learnt the truth. Rousseau was born on 28 June 1712, and he would later relate: "I was born almost dying, they had little hope of saving me". He was baptized on 4 July 1712, in the great cathedral. His mother died of
puerperal fever Postpartum infections, also known as childbed fever and puerperal fever, are any bacterial infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body Tissue (biology), tissues by Pathogen, disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and th ...
nine days after his birth, which he later described as "the first of my misfortunes". He and his older brother François were brought up by their father and a paternal aunt, also named Suzanne. When Rousseau was five, his father sold the house that the family had received from his mother's relatives. While the idea was that his sons would inherit the principal when grown up and he would live off the interest in the meantime, in the end the father took most of the substantial proceeds. With the selling of the house, the Rousseau family moved out of the upper-class neighborhood and moved into an apartment house in a neighborhood of craftsmen—silversmiths, engravers, and other watchmakers. Growing up around craftsmen, Rousseau would later contrast them favorably to those who produced more aesthetic works, writing "those important persons who are called artists rather than artisans, work solely for the idle and rich, and put an arbitrary price on their baubles". Rousseau was also exposed to class politics in this environment, as the artisans often agitated in a campaign of resistance against the privileged class running Geneva. Rousseau had no recollection of learning to read, but he remembered how when he was five or six his father encouraged his love of reading: Rousseau's reading of escapist stories (such as ''
L'Astrée ''L'Astrée'' is a pastoral novel by Honoré d'Urfé, published between 1607 and 1627. Possibly the single most influential work of 17th century French literature, ''L'Astrée'' has been called the "novel of novels", partly for its immense lengt ...

L'Astrée
'' by
Honoré d'Urfé Honoré d'Urfé, marquis de Valromey, comte de Châteauneuf (11 February 15681 June 1625) was a French novelist A novelist is an author or writer of novels, though often novelists also write in other genres of both fiction and non-fiction. Some ...

Honoré d'Urfé
) had an effect on him; he later wrote that they "gave me bizarre and romantic notions of human life, which experience and reflection have never been able to cure me of". After they had finished reading the novels, they began to read a collection of ancient and modern classics left by his mother's uncle. Of these, his favorite was
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; AD 46 – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC&nbs ...

Plutarch
's '' Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans'', which he would read to his father while he made watches. Rousseau saw Plutarch's work as another kind of novel—the noble actions of heroes—and he would act out the deeds of the characters he was reading about. In his ''Confessions'', Rousseau stated that the reading of Plutarch's works and "the conversations between my father and myself to which it gave rise, formed in me the free and republican spirit". Witnessing the local townsfolk participate in
militia A militia () is generally an army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-b ...
s made a big impression on Rousseau. Throughout his life, he would recall one scene where, after the volunteer militia had finished its manoeuvres, they began to dance around a fountain and most of the people from neighboring buildings came out to join them, including him and his father. Rousseau would always see militias as the embodiment of popular spirit in opposition to the armies of the rulers, whom he saw as disgraceful mercenaries. When Rousseau was ten, his father, an avid hunter, got into a legal quarrel with a wealthy landowner on whose lands he had been caught trespassing. To avoid certain defeat in the courts, he moved away to Nyon in the territory of Bern, taking Rousseau's aunt Suzanne with him. He remarried, and from that point Jean-Jacques saw little of him. Jean-Jacques was left with his maternal uncle, who packed him, along with his own son, Abraham Bernard, away to board for two years with a Calvinist minister in a hamlet outside Geneva. Here, the boys picked up the elements of mathematics and drawing. Rousseau, who was always deeply moved by religious services, for a time even dreamed of becoming a Protestant minister. Virtually all our information about Rousseau's youth has come from his posthumously published ''Confessions'', in which the chronology is somewhat confused, though recent scholars have combed the archives for confirming evidence to fill in the blanks. At age 13, Rousseau was apprenticed first to a
notary A notary is a person authorised to perform acts in legal affairs, in particular witnessing signatures on documents. The form that the notarial profession takes varies with local legal systems. A notary, while a legal professional, is distin ...
and then to an engraver who beat him. At 15, he ran away from Geneva (on 14 March 1728) after returning to the city and finding the city gates locked due to the curfew. In adjoining
Savoy Savoy (; frp, Savouè ; french: Savoie is a cultural-historical region in the Western Alps it, Alpi occidentaligerman: Westalpen , photo=Mont Blanc from Punta Helbronner, 2010 July.JPG , photo_caption=Mont Blanc Mont Blanc (french: Mont ...

Savoy
he took shelter with a Roman Catholic priest, who introduced him to
Françoise-Louise de Warens
Françoise-Louise de Warens
, age 29. She was a noblewoman of Protestant background who was separated from her husband. As professional lay proselytizer, she was paid by the King of
Piedmont it, Piemontese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...

Piedmont
to help bring Protestants to Catholicism. They sent the boy to
Turin Turin ( , Piedmontese Piedmontese (autonym: or , in it, piemontese) is a language spoken by some 700,000 people mostly in Piedmont it, Piemontese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = ...

Turin
, the capital of Savoy (which included Piedmont, in what is now Italy), to complete his conversion. This resulted in his having to give up his Genevan citizenship, although he would later revert to Calvinism to regain it. In converting to Catholicism, both de Warens and Rousseau were likely reacting to Calvinism's insistence on the
total depravity Total depravity (also called radical corruption or pervasive depravity) is a Protestant theology, theological doctrine derived from the concept of original sin. It teaches that, as a consequence of the Fall of Man, man's fall, every person bor ...
of man. Leo Damrosch writes: "An eighteenth-century Genevan liturgy still required believers to declare 'that we are miserable sinners, born in corruption, inclined to evil, incapable by ourselves of doing good'". De Warens, a
deist Deism ( or ; derived from the Latin ''deus'', meaning "god") is the Philosophy, philosophical position and Rationalism, rationalistic theology that rejects revelation as a source of divine knowledge, and asserts that Empirical evidence, emp ...
by inclination, was attracted to Catholicism's doctrine of forgiveness of sins. Finding himself on his own, since his father and uncle had more or less disowned him, the teenage Rousseau supported himself for a time as a servant, secretary, and tutor, wandering in Italy (Piedmont and Savoy) and France. During this time, he lived on and off with de Warens, whom he idolized and called his ''maman''. Flattered by his devotion, de Warens tried to get him started in a profession, and arranged formal music lessons for him. At one point, he briefly attended a seminary with the idea of becoming a priest.


Early adulthood

When Rousseau reached 20, de Warens took him as her lover, while intimate also with the steward of her house. The sexual aspect of their relationship (a ''
ménage à trois A () is a domestic arrangement with three people sharing romantic Romantic may refer to: Genres and eras * The Romantic era, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement of the 18th and 19th centuries ** Romantic music, of that ...

ménage à trois
'') confused Rousseau and made him uncomfortable, but he always considered de Warens the greatest love of his life. A rather profligate spender, she had a large library and loved to entertain and listen to music. She and her circle, comprising educated members of the Catholic clergy, introduced Rousseau to the world of letters and ideas. Rousseau had been an indifferent student, but during his 20s, which were marked by long bouts of
hypochondria Hypochondriasis or hypochondria is a condition in which a person is excessively and unduly worried about having a serious illness. An old concept, the meaning of hypochondria has repeatedly changed. It has been claimed that this debilitating condi ...
, he applied himself in earnest to the study of philosophy, mathematics, and music. At 25, he came into a small inheritance from his mother and used a portion of it to repay de Warens for her financial support of him. At 27, he took a job as a tutor in
Lyon Lyon or Lyons (, , ; frp, Liyon, ) is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, Rodano ; frp, Rôno ; oc, ...

Lyon
. In 1742, Rousseau moved to Paris to present the
Académie des Sciences The French Academy of Sciences (French: ''Académie des sciences'') is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exists to promote an discip ...
with a new system of
numbered musical notation The numbered musical notation (), is a musical notation system widely used in music publications in China (not to be confused with the Pitch class#Integer notation, integer notation). It dates back to the system designed by Pierre Galin, known as G ...
he believed would make his fortune. His system, intended to be compatible with
typography Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including ...

typography
, is based on a single line, displaying numbers representing
intervals
intervals
between notes and dots and commas indicating rhythmic values. Believing the system was impractical, the Academy rejected it, though they praised his mastery of the subject, and urged him to try again. He befriended
Denis Diderot Denis Diderot (; ; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities ...

Denis Diderot
that year, connecting over the discussion of literary endeavors. From 1743 to 1744, Rousseau had an honorable but ill-paying post as a secretary to the Comte de Montaigue, the French ambassador to
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...

Venice
. This awoke in him a lifelong love for Italian music, particularly opera: Rousseau's employer routinely received his stipend as much as a year late and paid his staff irregularly. After 11 months, Rousseau quit, taking from the experience a profound distrust of government bureaucracy.


Return to Paris

Returning to Paris, the penniless Rousseau befriended and became the lover of Thérèse Levasseur, a seamstress who was the sole support of her mother and numerous ne'er-do-well siblings. At first, they did not live together, though later Rousseau took Thérèse and her mother in to live with him as his servants, and himself assumed the burden of supporting her large family. According to his ''Confessions'', before she moved in with him, Thérèse bore him a son and as many as four other children (there is no independent verification for this number). Rousseau wrote that he persuaded Thérèse to give each of the newborns up to a foundling hospital, for the sake of her "honor". "Her mother, who feared the inconvenience of a brat, came to my aid, and she hérèseallowed herself to be overcome" (''Confessions''). In his letter to Madame de Francueil in 1751, he first pretended that he wasn't rich enough to raise his children, but in Book IX of the ''Confessions'' he gave the true reasons of his choice: "I trembled at the thought of intrusting them to a family ill brought up, to be still worse educated. The risk of the education of the
foundling hospital A foundling hospital was originally an institution for the reception of foundlings Child abandonment is the practice of relinquishing interests and claims over one's offspring in an illegal way with the intent of never resuming or reasserting guar ...

foundling hospital
was much less". Ten years later, Rousseau made inquiries about the fate of his son, but no record could be found. When Rousseau subsequently became celebrated as a theorist of education and child-rearing, his abandonment of his children was used by his critics, including
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778), known by his ''nom de plume A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a ...

Voltaire
and
Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS">New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS/nowiki>_1729_–_9_July_1797)_was_an_Anglo-Irish_Politician.html" "title="New_Style">NS.html" ;"title ...
, as the basis for arguments ''ad hominem''. Beginning with some articles on music in 1749, Rousseau contributed numerous articles to
Diderot Denis Diderot (; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the ''Encyclopédie'' along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. He was a prominent fi ...

Diderot
and
D'Alembert Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert (; ; 16 November 1717 – 29 October 1783) was a French mathematician, mechanician A mechanician is an engineer or a scientist working in the field of mechanics, or in a related or sub-field: engineering or com ...
's great ''
Encyclopédie ''Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers'' (English: ''Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts''), better known as ''Encyclopédie'', was a general encyclopedia ...

Encyclopédie
'', the most famous of which was an article on political economy written in 1755. Rousseau's ideas were the result of an almost obsessive dialogue with writers of the past, filtered in many cases through conversations with Diderot. In 1749, Rousseau was paying daily visits to Diderot, who had been thrown into the fortress of
Vincennes Vincennes (, ) is a commune An intentional community is a voluntary residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of group cohesiveness, social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically ...

Vincennes
under a ''
lettre de cachet ''Lettres de cachet'' (; ) were letters signed by the king of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) was a medieval and ...
'' for opinions in his " Lettre sur les aveugles", that hinted at
materialism Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimate ...
, a belief in
atoms An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of ato ...

atoms
, and
natural selection Natural selection is the differential survival and reproduction of individuals due to differences in phenotype right , Here the relation between genotype and phenotype is illustrated, using a Punnett square, for the character of peta ...
. According to science historian
Conway Zirkle Conway Zirkle (October 28, 1895 – March 28, 1972) was an American botanist Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist ...

Conway Zirkle
, Rousseau saw the concept of natural selection "as an agent for improving the human species." Rousseau had read about an essay competition sponsored by the
Académie de Dijon
Académie de Dijon
to be published in the ''Mercure de France'' on the theme of whether the development of the arts and sciences had been morally beneficial. He wrote that while walking to Vincennes (about three miles from Paris), he had a revelation that the arts and sciences were responsible for the moral degeneration of mankind, who were basically good by nature. Rousseau's 1750 ''
Discourse on the Arts and Sciences ''A Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences'' (1750), also known as ''Discourse on the Sciences and Arts'' (French: ''Discours sur les sciences et les arts'') and commonly referred to as ''The First Discourse'', is an essay by Geneva ...
'' was awarded the first prize and gained him significant fame. Rousseau continued his interest in music. He wrote both the words and music of his opera ''
Le devin du village ''Le devin du village'' ("The Village Soothsayer") is a one-act French opera Opera is a form of theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to p ...
'' (''The Village Soothsayer''), which was performed for
King Louis XV Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774), known as Louis the Beloved (french: le Bien-Aimé), was King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached ...

King Louis XV
in 1752. The king was so pleased by the work that he offered Rousseau a lifelong pension. To the exasperation of his friends, Rousseau turned down the great honor, bringing him notoriety as "the man who had refused a king's pension". He also turned down several other advantageous offers, sometimes with a brusqueness bordering on truculence that gave offense and caused him problems. The same year, the visit of a troupe of Italian musicians to Paris, and their performance of
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi Giovanni Battista Draghi (; 4 January 1710 – 16 or 17 March 1736), often referred to as Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (), was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an e ...

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
's ''
La serva padrona ''La serva padrona'', or ''The Maid Turned Mistress'', is a 1733 intermezzo by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710–1736) to a libretto A libretto (Italian for "booklet") is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an op ...
'', prompted the
Querelle des Bouffons The ("Quarrel of the Comic Actors"), also known as the ("War of the Comic Actors"), was the name given to a battle of musical philosophies that took place in Paris between 1752 and 1754. The controversy concerned the relative merits of French an ...
, which pitted protagonists of French music against supporters of the Italian style. Rousseau, as noted above, was an enthusiastic supporter of the Italians against
Jean-Philippe Rameau Jean-Philippe Rameau (; – ) was one of the most important French composer A composer (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally s ...

Jean-Philippe Rameau
and others, making an important contribution with his ''Letter on French Music''.


Return to Geneva

On returning to Geneva in 1754, Rousseau reconverted to
Calvinism Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Refor ...
and regained his official Genevan citizenship. In 1755, Rousseau completed his second major work, the ''Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men'' (the ''
Discourse on Inequality Image:DOI Rousseau.jpg, 350px, Frontispiece and title page of an edition of Rousseau's ''Discourse on Inequality'' (1754), published by Marc-Michel Rey in 1755 in Holland. ''Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men'' (french: Disc ...
''), which elaborated on the arguments of the ''Discourse on the Arts and Sciences''. He also pursued an unconsummated romantic attachment with the 25-year-old
Sophie d'Houdetot Elisabeth Françoise Sophie Lalive de Bellegarde, Comtesse d'Houdetot (18 December 1730 – 28 January 1813) was a French noblewoman. She is remembered primarily for the brief but intense love she inspired in Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacque ...
, which partly inspired his
epistolary novel An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is Letter (message), letters, although diary, diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used, as are electronic documents such as recordings ...
'' Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse'' (also based on memories of his idyllic youthful relationship with Mme de Warens). Sophie was the cousin and houseguest of Rousseau's patroness and landlady Madame d'Épinay, whom he treated rather high-handedly. He resented being at Mme. d'Épinay's beck and call and detested the insincere conversation and shallow atheism of the ''Encyclopédistes'' whom he met at her table. Wounded feelings gave rise to a bitter three-way quarrel between Rousseau and Madame d'Épinay; her lover, the journalist Grimm; and their mutual friend, Diderot, who took their side against Rousseau. Diderot later described Rousseau as being "false, vain as Satan, ungrateful, cruel, hypocritical, and wicked... He sucked ideas from me, used them himself, and then affected to despise me". Rousseau's break with the ''Encyclopédistes'' coincided with the composition of his three major works, in all of which he emphasized his fervent belief in a spiritual origin of man's soul and the universe, in contradistinction to the
materialism Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimate ...
of Diderot,
La Mettrie
La Mettrie
and D'Holbach. During this period, Rousseau enjoyed the support and patronage of Charles II François Frédéric de Montmorency-Luxembourg and the
Prince de Conti The title of Prince of Conti (French: ''prince de Conti'') was a French noble title, assumed by a cadet branch of the princely house of Princes of Condé, Bourbon-Condé. History The title derives its name from Conty, a small town in northern Fran ...
, two of the richest and most powerful nobles in France. These men truly liked Rousseau and enjoyed his ability to converse on any subject, but they also used him as a way of getting back at
Louis XV Louis XV (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774), known as Louis the Beloved (french: le Bien-Aimé), was King of France from 1 September 1715 until his death in 1774. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached ...

Louis XV
and the political faction surrounding his mistress,
Madame de Pompadour Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour (, ; 29 December 1721 – 15 April 1764), commonly known as Madame de Pompadour, was a member of the French court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, wit ...

Madame de Pompadour
. Even with them, however, Rousseau went too far, courting rejection when he criticized the practice of
tax farming Farming or tax-farming is a technique of financial management in which the management of a variable revenue stream is assigned by legal contract to a third party and the holder of the revenue stream receives fixed periodic rents from the contract ...
, in which some of them engaged. Rousseau's 800-page novel of
sentiment Sentiment may refer to: *Feeling Feeling was originally used to describe the physical sensation of touch The somatosensory system is a part of the sensory nervous system. The somatosensory system is a complex system of sensory neurons and neur ...
, '' Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse'', was published in 1761 to immense success. The book's rhapsodic descriptions of the natural beauty of the Swiss countryside struck a chord in the public and may have helped spark the subsequent nineteenth-century craze for Alpine scenery. In 1762, Rousseau published ''Du Contrat Social, Principes du droit politique'' (in English, literally '' Of the Social Contract, Principles of Political Right'') in April. Even his friend Antoine-Jacques Roustan felt impelled to write a polite rebuttal of the chapter on Civil Religion in the ''Social Contract'', which implied that the concept of a
Christian republic A Christian republic is a government that is both Christianity, Christian and republicanism, republican. As of the 21st century, the only countries in the world with a republican form of government and with Christianity as the state religion, est ...
was paradoxical since Christianity taught submission rather than participation in public affairs. Rousseau helped Roustan find a publisher for the rebuttal. Rousseau published ''
Emile, or On Education ''Emile, or On Education'' (french: Émile, ou De l’éducation) is a treatise on the nature of education and on the nature of Human, man written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who considered it to be the "best and most important" of all his writings. ...
'' in May. A famous section of ''Emile'', "The Profession of Faith of a Savoyard Vicar", was intended to be a defense of religious belief. Rousseau's choice of a Catholic vicar of humble peasant background (plausibly based on a kindly prelate he had met as a teenager) as a spokesman for the defense of religion was in itself a daring innovation for the time. The vicar's creed was that of
Socinianism Socinianism () is a system of Christianity, Christian doctrine named after Italians Lelio Sozzini (Latin: Laelius Socinus) and Fausto Sozzini (Latin: Faustus Socinus), uncle and nephew, respectively, which was developed among the Polish Brethren in ...
(or
Unitarianism Unitarianism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...
as it is called today). Because it rejected original sin and
divine revelation In religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involu ...

divine revelation
, both Protestant and Catholic authorities took offense. Moreover, Rousseau advocated the opinion that, insofar as they lead people to virtue, all religions are equally worthy, and that people should therefore conform to the religion in which they have been brought up. This religious
indifferentism Indifferentism, in the Catholic faith, is the belief held by some that no one religion or philosophy is superior to another. The Catholic Church ascribes indifferentism to many atheism, atheistic, materialism, materialistic, pantheism, pantheistic, ...
caused Rousseau and his books to be banned from France and Geneva. He was condemned from the pulpit by the Archbishop of Paris, his
books were burned
books were burned
and warrants were issued for his arrest. Former friends such as Jacob Vernes of Geneva could not accept his views, and wrote violent rebuttals. A sympathetic observer,
David Hume David Hume (; born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) Cranston, Maurice, and Thomas Edmund Jessop. 2020 999999 or triple nine most often refers to: * 999 (emergency telephone number) 250px, A sign on a beach ...

David Hume
"professed no surprise when he learned that Rousseau's books were banned in Geneva and elsewhere". Rousseau, he wrote, "has not had the precaution to throw any veil over his sentiments; and, as he scorns to dissemble his contempt for established opinions, he could not wonder that all the zealots were in arms against him. The liberty of the press is not so secured in any country... as not to render such an open attack on popular prejudice somewhat dangerous."


Voltaire and Frederick the Great

After Rousseau's ''Emile'' had outraged the French parliament, an arrest order was issued by parliament against him, causing him to flee to Switzerland. Subsequently, when the Swiss authorities also proved unsympathetic to him—condemning both ''Emile'', and also ''
The Social Contract ''The Social Contract'', originally published as ''On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Political Right'' (french: Du contrat social; ou Principes du droit politique) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 â ...
''—Voltaire issued an invitation to Rousseau to come and reside with him, commenting that: "I shall always love the author of the 'Vicaire savoyard' whatever he has done, and whatever he may do...Let him come here o Ferney He must come! I shall receive him with open arms. He shall be master here more than I. I shall treat him like my own son." Rousseau later expressed regret that he had not replied to Voltaire's invitation. In July 1762, after Rousseau was informed that he could not continue to reside in Bern,
d'Alembert Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert (; ; 16 November 1717 – 29 October 1783) was a French mathematician, mechanician A mechanician is an engineer or a scientist working in the field of mechanics, or in a related or sub-field: engineering or com ...
advised him to move to the
Principality of Neuchâtel A principality (or sometimes princedom) can either be a monarchical A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of ...
, ruled by
Frederick the Great Frederick II (german: Friedrich II.; 24 January 171217 August 1786) was King in Prussia King ''in'' Prussia ( German: ''König in Preußen'') was a title used by the Prussian kings (also in personal union Electors of Brandenburg) from 1701 ...

Frederick the Great
of Prussia. Subsequently, Rousseau accepted an invitation to reside in
Môtiers
Môtiers
, fifteen miles from Neuchâtel. On 11 July 1762, Rousseau wrote to Frederick, describing how he had been driven from France, from Geneva, and from Bern; and seeking Frederick's protection. He also mentioned that he had criticized Frederick in the past and would continue to be critical of Frederick in the future, stating however: "Your Majesty may dispose of me as you like." Frederick, still in the middle of the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
, then wrote to the local governor of Neuchâtel, Marischal Keith, who was a mutual friend of theirs: Rousseau, touched by the help he received from Frederick, stated that from then onwards he took a keen interest in Frederick's activities. As the Seven Years' War was about to end, Rousseau wrote to Frederick again, thanking him for the help received and urging him to put an end to military activities and to endeavor to keep his subjects happy instead. Frederick made no known reply, but commented to Keith that Rousseau had given him a "scolding".


Fugitive

For more than two years (1762–1765) Rousseau lived at
Môtiers
Môtiers
, spending his time in reading and writing and meeting visitors such as
James Boswell James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck (; 29 October 1740 ( N.S.) – 19 May 1795), was a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-Eur ...

James Boswell
(December 1764). In the meantime, the local ministers had become aware of the apostasies in some of his writings, and resolved not to let him stay in the vicinity. The Neuchâtel Consistory summoned Rousseau to answer a charge of blasphemy. He wrote back asking to be excused due to his inability to sit for a long time due to his ailment. Subsequently, Rousseau's own pastor, Frédéric-Guillaume de Montmollin, started denouncing him publicly as the Antichrist. In one inflammatory sermon, Montmollin quoted Proverbs 15:8: "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is his delight"; this was interpreted by everyone to mean that Rousseau's taking communion was detested by the Lord. The ecclesiastical attacks inflamed the parishioners, who proceeded to pelt Rousseau with stones when he would go out for walks. Around midnight of 6–7 September 1765, stones were thrown at the house Rousseau was staying in, and some glass windows were shattered. When a local official, Martinet, arrived at Rousseau's residence he saw so many stones on the balcony that he exclaimed "My God, it's a quarry!" At this point, Rousseau's friends in Môtiers advised him to leave the town. Since he wanted to remain in Switzerland, Rousseau decided to accept an offer to move to a tiny island, the Île de St.-Pierre, having a solitary house. Although it was within the
Canton of Bern The canton of Bern or Berne (german: Kanton Bern; french: canton de Berne) is one of the Canton of Switzerland, 26 cantons forming the Switzerland, Swiss Confederation. It is composed of ten districts and its capital city is Bern. The bear is th ...
, from where he had been expelled two years previously, he was informally assured that he could move into this island house without fear of arrest, and he did so (10 September 1765). Here, despite the remoteness of his retreat, visitors sought him out as a celebrity. However, on 17 October 1765, the Senate of Bern ordered Rousseau to leave the island and all Bernese territory within fifteen days. He replied, requesting permission to extend his stay, and offered to be incarcerated in any place within their jurisdiction with only a few books in his possession and permission to walk occasionally in a garden while living at his own expense. The Senate's response was to direct Rousseau to leave the island, and all Bernese territory, within twenty four hours. On 29 October 1765 he left the Île de St.-Pierre and moved to Strasbourg. At this point: He subsequently decided to accept
Hume Hume most commonly refers to: * David Hume (1711–1776), Scottish philosopher Hume may also refer to: People * Hume (surname) * Hume (given name) * James Hume Nisbet (1849–1923), Scottish-born novelist and artist In fiction * Hume, the ...

Hume
's invitation to go to England.


Back in Paris

On 9 December 1765, having secured a passport from the French government to come to Paris, Rousseau left Strasbourg for Paris where he arrived after a week, and lodged in a palace of his friend, the
Prince of Conti The title of Prince of Conti (French: ''prince de Conti'') was a French noble title, assumed by a cadet branch of the princely house of Princes of Condé, Bourbon-Condé. History The title derives its name from Conty, a small town in northern Fra ...
. Here he met Hume, and also numerous friends, and well wishers, and became a very conspicuous figure in the city. At this time, Hume wrote: One significant meeting could have taken place at this time:
Diderot Denis Diderot (; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the ''Encyclopédie'' along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. He was a prominent fi ...

Diderot
wanted to reconcile and make amends with Rousseau. However, both Diderot and Rousseau wanted the other person to take the initiative, so the two did not meet.


Letter of Walpole

On 1 January 1766, Grimm wrote a report to his
clientele In sales, commerce Commerce is the exchange of goods and services, especially on a large scale. Etymology The English-language word ''commerce'' has been derived from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the It ...
, in which he included a letter said to have been written by Frederick the Great to Rousseau. This letter had actually been composed by
Horace Walpole Horatio Walpole (), 4th Earl of Orford (24 September 1717 – 2 March 1797), better known as Horace Walpole, was an English writer, art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whigs (British political party), Whig politician. He had Strawbe ...

Horace Walpole
as a playful hoax. Walpole had never met Rousseau, but he was well acquainted with Diderot and Grimm. The letter soon found wide publicity; Hume is believed to have been present, and to have participated in its creation. On 16 February 1766, Hume wrote to the Marquise de Brabantane: "The only pleasantry I permitted myself in connection with the pretended letter of the King of Prussia was made by me at the dinner table of Lord Ossory." This letter was one of the reasons for the later rupture in Hume's relations with Rousseau.


In Britain

On 4 January 1766 Rousseau left Paris with Hume, the merchant De Luze (an old friend of Rousseau), and Rousseau's pet dog Sultan. After a four-day journey to
Calais Calais ( , , traditionally , ; pcd, Calés; vls, Kales) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia ...

Calais
, where they stayed for two nights, the travelers embarked on a ship to
Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first publishe ...

Dover
. On 13 January 1766 they arrived in London. Soon after their arrival,
David Garrick David Garrick (19 February 1717 – 20 January 1779) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early med ...
arranged a box at the
Drury Lane Theatre The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, commonly known as Drury Lane, is a West End theatre and listed building, Grade I listed building in Covent Garden, London, England. The building faces Catherine Street (earlier named Bridges or Brydges Street) and ...
for Hume and Rousseau on a night when the
King King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen regnant, queen, which title is also given to the queen consort, consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contempora ...

King
and
Queen Queen may refer to: Monarchy * Queen regnant, a female monarch of a Kingdom ** List of queens regnant * Queen consort, the wife of a reigning king * Queen dowager, the widow of a king * Queen mother, a queen dowager who is the mother of a reigni ...

Queen
also attended. Garrick was himself performing in a comedy by himself, and also in a tragedy by Voltaire. Rousseau became so excited during the performance that he leaned too far and almost fell out of the box; Hume observed that the King and Queen were looking at Rousseau more than at the performance. Afterwards, Garrick served supper for Rousseau, who commended Garrick's acting: "Sir, you have made me shed tears at your tragedy, and smile at your comedy, though I scarce understood a word of your language." At this time, Hume had a favorable opinion of Rousseau; in a letter to Madame de Brabantane, Hume wrote that after observing Rousseau carefully he had concluded that he had never met a more affable and virtuous person. According to Hume, Rousseau was "gentle, modest, affectionate, disinterested, of extreme sensitivity". Initially, Hume lodged Rousseau in the house of Madam Adams in London, but Rousseau began receiving so many visitors that he soon wanted to move to a quieter location. An offer came to lodge him in a Welsh monastery, and he was inclined to accept it, but Hume persuaded him to move to
Chiswick Chiswick ( ) is a district of West London, England. It contains Hogarth's House, the former residence of the 18th-century English artist William Hogarth; Chiswick House, a neo-Palladian villa regarded as one of the finest in England; and ...
. Rousseau now asked for Thérèse to rejoin him. Meanwhile,
James Boswell James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck (; 29 October 1740 ( N.S.) – 19 May 1795), was a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-Eur ...

James Boswell
, then in Paris, offered to escort Thérèse to Rousseau. (Boswell had earlier met Rousseau and Thérèse at Motiers; he had subsequently also sent Thérèse a garnet necklace and had written to Rousseau seeking permission to occasionally communicate with her.) Hume foresaw what was going to happen: "I dread some event fatal to our friend's honor." Boswell and Thérèse were together for more than a week, and as per notes in Boswell's diary they consummated the relationship, having intercourse several times. On one occasion, Thérèse told Boswell: "Don't imagine you are a better lover than Rousseau." Since Rousseau was keen to relocate to a more remote location, Richard Davenport—a wealthy and elderly widower who spoke French—offered to accommodate Thérèse and Rousseau at Wootton Hall in Staffordshire. On 22 March 1766 Rousseau and Thérèse set forth for Wootton, against Hume's advice. Hume and Rousseau would never meet again. Initially Rousseau liked his new accommodation at Wootton Hall, and wrote favorably about the natural beauty of the place, and how he was feeling reborn, forgetting past sorrows.


Quarrel with Hume

On 3 April 1766 a daily newspaper published the letter constituting Horace Walpole's hoax on Rousseau – without mentioning Walpole as the actual author; that the editor of the publication was Hume's personal friend compounded Rousseau's grief. Gradually articles critical of Rousseau started appearing in the British press; Rousseau felt that Hume, as his host, ought to have defended him. Moreover, in Rousseau's estimate, some of the public criticism contained details to which only Hume was privy. Further, Rousseau was aggrieved to find that Hume had been lodging in London with François Tronchin, son of Rousseau's enemy in Geneva. About this time, Voltaire anonymously published his ''Letter to Dr. J.-J. Pansophe'' in which he gave extracts from many of Rousseau's prior statements which were critical of life in England; the most damaging portions of Voltaire's writeup were reprinted in a London periodical. Rousseau now decided that there was a conspiracy afoot to defame him. A further cause for Rousseau's displeasure was his concern that Hume might be tampering with his mail. The misunderstanding had arisen because Rousseau tired of receiving voluminous correspondence whose postage he had to pay. Hume offered to open Rousseau's mail himself and to forward the important letters to Rousseau; this offer was accepted. However, there is some evidence of Hume intercepting even Rousseau's outgoing mail. After some correspondence with Rousseau, which included an eighteen-page letter from Rousseau describing the reasons for his resentment, Hume concluded that Rousseau was losing his mental balance. On learning that Rousseau had denounced him to his Parisian friends, Hume sent a copy of Rousseau's long letter to Madame de Boufflers. She replied stating that, in her estimate, Hume's alleged participation in the composition of Horace Walpole's ''faux'' letter was the reason for Rousseau's anger. When Hume learnt that Rousseau was writing the '' Confessions'', he assumed that the present dispute would feature in the book. Adam Smith, Turgot, Marischal Keith, Horace Walpole, and Mme de Boufflers advised Hume not to make his quarrel with Rousseau public; however, many members of d'Holbach's coterie—particularly,
d'Alembert Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert (; ; 16 November 1717 – 29 October 1783) was a French mathematician, mechanician A mechanician is an engineer or a scientist working in the field of mechanics, or in a related or sub-field: engineering or com ...
—urged him to reveal his version of the events. In October 1766 Hume's version of the quarrel was translated into French and published in France; in November it was published in England. Grimm included it in his ''correspondance''; ultimately, After the dispute became public, due in part to comments from notable publishers like Andrew Millar, Walpole told Hume that quarrels such as this only end up becoming a source of amusement for Europe. Diderot took a charitable view of the mess: "I knew these two philosophers well. I could write a play about them that would make you weep, and it would excuse them both." Amidst the controversy surrounding his quarrel with Hume, Rousseau maintained a public silence; but he resolved now to return to France. To encourage him to do so swiftly, Thérèse advised him that the servants at Wootton Hall sought to poison him. On 22 May 1767 Rousseau and Thérèse embarked from
Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first publishe ...

Dover
for
Calais Calais ( , , traditionally , ; pcd, Calés; vls, Kales) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia ...

Calais
.


In Grenoble

On 22 May 1767, Rousseau reentered France even though an arrest warrant against him was still in place. He had taken an assumed name, but was recognized, and a banquet in his honor was held by the city of Amiens. French nobles offered him a residence at this time. Initially, Rousseau decided to stay in an estate near Paris belonging to Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, Mirabeau. Subsequently, on 21 June 1767, he moved to a chateau of the Prince of Conti in Trie-Château, Trie. Around this time, Rousseau started developing feelings of paranoia, anxiety, and of a conspiracy against him. Most of this was just his imagination at work, but on 29 January 1768, the theatre at Geneva was destroyed through burning, and Voltaire mendaciously accused Rousseau of being the culprit. In June 1768, Rousseau left Trie, leaving Thérèse behind, and went first to
Lyon Lyon or Lyons (, , ; frp, Liyon, ) is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; wae, Rotten ; it, Rodano ; frp, Rôno ; oc, ...

Lyon
, and subsequently to Bourgoin-Jallieu, Bourgoin. He now invited Thérèse to this place and ''married'' her, under his alias "Renou" in a faux civil ceremony in Bourgoin on 30 August 1768. In January 1769, Rousseau and Thérèse went to live in a farmhouse near Grenoble. Here he practiced botany and completed the '' Confessions''. At this time he expressed regret for placing his children in an orphanage. On 10 April 1770, Rousseau and Thérèse left for Lyon where he befriended Horace Coignet, a fabric designer and amateur musician. At Rousseau's suggestion, Coignet composed musical interludes for Rousseau's prose poem ''Pygmalion''; this was performed in Lyon together with Rousseau's romance ''The Village Soothsayer'' to public acclaim. On 8 June, Rousseau and Thérèse left Lyon for Paris; they reached Paris on 24 June. In Paris, Rousseau and Thérèse lodged in an unfashionable neighborhood of the city, the Rue Platrière—now called the Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He now supported himself financially by copying music, and continued his study of botany. At this time also, he wrote his ''Letters on the Elements of Botany''. These consisted of a series of letters Rousseau wrote to Mme Delessert in Lyon to help her daughters learn the subject. These letters received widespread acclaim when they were eventually published posthumously. "It's a true pedagogical model, and it complements ''Emile''," commented Goethe. In order to defend his reputation against hostile gossip, Rousseau had begun writing the ''Confessions'' in 1765. In November 1770, these were completed, and although he did not wish to publish them at this time, he began to offer group readings of certain portions of the book. Between December 1770, and May 1771, Rousseau made at least four group readings of his book with the final reading lasting seventeen hours. A witness to one of these sessions, Claude Joseph Dorat, wrote: After May 1771, there were no more group readings because Madame d'Épinay wrote to the chief of police, who was her friend, to put a stop to Rousseau's readings so as to safeguard her privacy. The police called on Rousseau, who agreed to stop the readings. The ''Confessions'' were finally published posthumously in 1782. In 1772, Rousseau was invited to present recommendations for a new constitution for the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the ''Considerations on the Government of Poland'', which was to be his last major political work. Also in 1772, Rousseau began writing his ''Dialogues: Rousseau, Judge of Jean-Jacques'', which was another attempt to reply to his critics. He completed writing it in 1776. The book is in the form of three dialogues between two characters; a ''Frenchman'' and ''Rousseau'', who argue about the merits and demerits of a third character—an author called ''Jean-Jacques''. It has been described as his most unreadable work; in the foreword to the book, Rousseau admits that it may be repetitious and disorderly, but he begs the reader's indulgence on the grounds that he needs to defend his reputation from slander before he dies.


Final years

In 1766, Rousseau had impressed Hume with his physical prowess by spending ten hours at night on the deck in severe weather during the journey by ship from Calais to Dover while Hume was confined to his bunk. "When all the seamen were almost frozen to death...he caught no harm...He is one of the most robust men I have ever known," Hume noted. By 1770, Rousseau's dysuria, urinary disease had also been greatly alleviated after he stopped listening to the advice of doctors. At that time, notes Damrosch, it was often better to let nature take its own course rather than subject oneself to medical procedures. His general health had also improved. However, on 24 October 1776, as he was walking on a narrow street in Paris a nobleman's carriage came rushing by from the opposite direction; flanking the carriage was a galloping Great Dane belonging to the nobleman. Rousseau was unable to dodge both the carriage and the dog, and was knocked down by the Great Dane. He seems to have suffered a concussion and neurological damage. His health began to decline; Rousseau's friend Corancez described the appearance of certain symptoms which indicate that Rousseau started suffering from epileptic seizures after the accident. In 1777, Rousseau received a royal visitor, when the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, Joseph II came to meet him. His free entry to the Opera had been renewed by this time and he would go there occasionally. At this time also (1777–78), he composed one of his finest works, ''Reveries of a Solitary Walker''. In the spring of 1778, the René de Girardin, Marquis Girardin invited Rousseau to live in a cottage in his château at Ermenonville. Rousseau and Thérèse went there on 20 May. Rousseau spent his time at the château in collecting botanical specimens, and teaching botany to Girardin's son. He ordered books from Paris on grasses, mosses and mushrooms, and made plans to complete his unfinished ''Emile, or On Education#Émile et Sophie, Emile and Sophie'' and ''Daphnis and Chloe#Opera, Daphnis and Chloe''. On 1 July, a visitor commented that "men are wicked", to which Rousseau replied with "men are wicked, yes, but man is good"; in the evening there was a concert in the château in which Rousseau played on the piano his own composition of the Willow Song from ''Othello''. On this day also, he had a hearty meal with Girardin's family; the next morning, as he was about to go teach music to Girardin's daughter, he died of cerebral bleeding resulting in an apoplectic stroke. It is now believed that repeated falls, including the accident involving the Great Dane, may have contributed to Rousseau's stroke. Following his death, Grimm, Germaine de Staël, Madame de Staël and others spread the false news that Rousseau had committed suicide; according to other gossip, Rousseau was insane when he died. All those who met him in his last days agree that he was in a serene frame of mind at this time. On 4 July 1778, Rousseau was buried on the , which became a place of pilgrimage for his many admirers. On 11 October 1794, his remains were moved to the Panthéon (Paris), Panthéon, where they were placed near the remains of
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778), known by his ''nom de plume A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a ...

Voltaire
.


Philosophy


Influences

Rousseau later noted, that when he read the question for the essay competition of the Academy of Dijon, which he would go on to win: "Has the rebirth of the arts and sciences contributed to the purification of the morals?", he felt that "the moment I read this announcement I saw another universe and became a different man". The essay he wrote in response led to one of the central themes of Rousseau's thought, which was that perceived social and cultural progress had in fact led only to the moral degradation of humanity. His influences to this conclusion included Montesquieu, François Fénelon, Michel de Montaigne, Seneca the Younger, Plato, and
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; AD 46 – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC&nbs ...

Plutarch
. Rousseau based his political philosophy on contract theory and his reading of Thomas Hobbes. Reacting to the ideas of Samuel von Pufendorf and John Locke was also driving his thought. All three thinkers had believed that humans living without central authority were facing uncertain conditions in a state of mutual competition. In contrast, Rousseau believed that there was no explanation for why this would be the case, as there would have been no conflict or property. Rousseau especially criticized Hobbes for asserting that since man in the "state of nature... has no idea of goodness he must be naturally wicked; that he is vicious because he does not know virtue". On the contrary, Rousseau holds that "uncorrupted morals" prevail in the "state of nature".


Human nature

In common with other philosophers of the day, Rousseau looked to a hypothetical "state of nature" as a normative guide. In the original condition, humans would have had "no moral relations with or determinate obligations to one another". Because of their rare contact with each other, differences between individuals would have been of little significance. Living separately, there would have been no feelings of envy or distrust, and no existence of property or conflict. According to Rousseau, humans have two traits in common with other animals: the ''amour de soi'', which describes the self-preservation instinct; and ''pitié'', which is empathy for the rest of one's species, both of which precede reason and sociability. Only humans who are morally deprived would care only about their relative status to others, leading to ''amour-propre'', or vanity. He did not believe humans to be innately superior to other species. However, human beings did have the unique ability to change their nature through free choice, instead of being confined to natural instincts. Another aspect separating humans from other animals is the ability of ''perfectability'', which allows humans to choose in a way which improves their condition. These improvements could be lasting, leading not only to individual, but also collective change for the better. Together with human freedom, the ability to improve makes possible the historic evolution of humanity. However, there is no guarantee that this evolution will be for the better.


Human development

Rousseau asserted that the stage of human development associated with what he called "savages" was the best or optimal in human development, between the less-than-optimal extreme of brute animals on the one hand and the extreme of decadent civilization on the other. "...[N]othing is so gentle as man in his primitive state, when placed by nature at an equal distance from the stupidity of brutes and the fatal Age of Enlightenment, enlightenment of civil man". This has led some critics to attribute to Rousseau the invention of the idea of the noble savage, which Arthur Oncken Lovejoy, Arthur Lovejoy claimed misrepresents Rousseau's thought. According to Rousseau, as savages had grown less dependent on nature, they had instead become dependent on each other, with society leading to the loss of freedom through the misapplication of perfectability. When living together, humans would have gone from a nomadic lifestyle to a settled one, leading to the invention of private property. However, the resulting inequality was not a natural outcome, but rather the product of human choice. Rousseau's ideas of human development were highly interconnected with forms of mediation, or the processes that individual humans use to interact with themselves and others while using an alternate perspective or thought process. According to Rousseau, these were developed through the innate perfectibility of humanity. These include a sense of self, morality, pity, and imagination. Rousseau's writings are purposely ambiguous concerning the formation of these processes to the point that mediation is always intrinsically part of humanity's development. An example of this is the notion that an individual needs an alternative perspective to come to the realization that he or she is a 'self'. As long as differences in wealth and status among families were minimal, the first coming together in groups was accompanied by a fleeting golden age of human flourishing. The development of agriculture, metallurgy, private property, and the division of labour and resulting dependency on one another, however, led to economic inequality and conflict. As population pressures forced them to associate more and more closely, they underwent a psychological transformation: they began to see themselves through the eyes of others and came to value the good opinion of others as essential to their self-esteem. As humans started to compare themselves with each other, they began to notice that some had qualities differentiating them from others. However, only when moral significance was attached to these qualities did they start to create esteem and envy, and thereby, social hierarchies. Rousseau noted that whereas "the savage lives within himself, sociable man, always outside himself, can only live in the opinion of others". This then resulted in the corruption of humankind, "producing combinations fatal to innocence and happiness". Following the attachment of importance to human difference, they would have started forming social institutions, according to Rousseau. Metallurgy and agriculture would have subsequently increased the inequalities between those with and without property. After all land had been converted into private properties, a zero-sum game would have resulted in competition for it, leading to conflict. This would have led to the creation and perpetuation of the 'hoax' of the political system by the rich which perpetuated their power.


Political theory

According to Rousseau, the original forms of government to emerge, monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, were all products of the differing levels of inequality in their societies. However, they would always end up with ever worse levels of inequality, until a revolution would have overthrown it and new leaders would have emerged with further extremes of injustice. Nevertheless, the human capacity for self-improvement remained. As the problems of humanity were the product of political choice, they could also be improved by a better political system. ''
The Social Contract ''The Social Contract'', originally published as ''On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Political Right'' (french: Du contrat social; ou Principes du droit politique) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 â ...
'' outlines the basis for a legitimate political order within a framework of classical republicanism. Published in 1762, it became one of the most influential works of political philosophy in the Western tradition. It developed some of the ideas mentioned in an earlier work, the article ''Économie Politique'' (''Discourse on Political Economy''), featured in Diderot's ''
Encyclopédie ''Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers'' (English: ''Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts''), better known as ''Encyclopédie'', was a general encyclopedia ...

Encyclopédie
''. In the book, Rousseau sketched the image of a new political system for regaining human freedom. Rousseau claimed that the state of nature was a primitive condition without law or morality, which human beings left for the benefits and necessity of cooperation. As society developed, the division of labor and private property required the human race to adopt institutions of law. In the degenerate phase of society, man is prone to be in frequent competition with his fellow men while also becoming increasingly dependent on them. This double pressure threatens both his survival and his freedom. According to Rousseau, by joining together into civil society through the social contract and abandoning their claims of Natural and legal rights, natural right, individuals can both preserve themselves and remain free. This is because submission to the authority of the general will of the people as a whole guarantees individuals against being subordinated to the wills of others and also ensures that they obey themselves because they are, collectively, the authors of the law. Although Rousseau argues that sovereignty (or the power to make the laws) should be in the hands of the people, he also makes a sharp distinction between the sovereign and the government. The government is composed of magistrates, charged with implementing and enforcing the general will. The "sovereign" is the rule of law, ideally decided on by direct democracy in an assembly. Rousseau opposed the idea that the people should exercise sovereignty via a Representative democracy, representative assembly (Book III, Chapter XV). He approved the kind of republican government of the city-state, for which Geneva provided a model—or would have done if renewed on Rousseau's principles. France could not meet Rousseau's criterion of an ideal state because it was too big. Much subsequent controversy about Rousseau's work has hinged on disagreements concerning his claims that citizens constrained to obey the general will are thereby rendered free:
The notion of the general will is wholly central to Rousseau's theory of political legitimacy. ... It is, however, an unfortunately obscure and controversial notion. Some commentators see it as no more than the dictatorship of the proletariat or the tyranny of the urban poor (such as may perhaps be seen in the French Revolution). Such was not Rousseau's meaning. This is clear from the ''Discourse on Political Economy'', where Rousseau emphasizes that the general will exists to protect individuals against the mass, not to require them to be sacrificed to it. He is, of course, sharply aware that men have selfish and sectional interests which will lead them to try to oppress others. It is for this reason that loyalty to the good of all alike must be a supreme (although not exclusive) commitment by everyone, not only if a truly general will is to be heeded but also if it is to be formulated successfully in the first place".
A remarkable peculiarity of ''Social Contract'' is its logical rigor, which Rousseau had learned in his twenties from mathematics:


Education and child rearing

Rousseau's philosophy of education concerns itself not with particular techniques of imparting information and concepts, but rather with developing the pupil's character and moral sense, so that he may learn to practice self-mastery and remain virtuous even in the unnatural and imperfect society in which he will have to live. A hypothetical boy, Émile, is to be raised in the countryside, which, Rousseau believes, is a more natural and healthy environment than the city, under the guardianship of a tutor who will guide him through various learning experiences arranged by the tutor. Today we would call this the disciplinary method of "natural consequences". Rousseau felt that children learn right and wrong through experiencing the consequences of their acts rather than through physical punishment. The tutor will make sure that no harm results to Émile through his learning experiences. Rousseau became an early advocate of developmentally appropriate education; his description of the stages of child development mirrors his conception of the evolution of culture. He divides childhood into stages: # the first to the age of about 12, when children are guided by their emotions and impulses # during the second stage, from 12 to about 16, reason starts to develop # finally the third stage, from the age of 16 onwards, when the child develops into an adult Rousseau recommends that the young adult learn a manual skill such as carpentry, which requires creativity and thought, will keep him out of trouble, and will supply a fallback means of making a living in the event of a change of fortune (the most illustrious aristocratic youth to have been educated this way may have been Louis XVI, whose parents had him learn the skill of locksmithing). The sixteen-year-old is also ready to have a companion of the opposite sex. Although his ideas foreshadowed modern ones in many ways, in one way they do not: Rousseau was a believer in the moral superiority of the patriarchal family on the antique Roman model. Sophie, the young woman Émile is destined to marry, as his representative of ideal womanhood, is educated to be governed by her husband while Émile, as his representative of the ideal man, is educated to be self-governing. This is not an accidental feature of Rousseau's educational and political philosophy; it is essential to his account of the distinction between private, personal relations and the public world of political relations. The private sphere as Rousseau imagines it depends on the subordination of women, for both it and the public political sphere (upon which it depends) to function as Rousseau imagines it could and should. Rousseau anticipated the modern idea of the bourgeois nuclear family, with the mother at home taking responsibility for the household and for childcare and early education. Feminists, beginning in the late 18th century with Mary Wollstonecraft in 1792, have criticized Rousseau for his confinement of women to the Separate spheres, domestic sphere—unless women were Domestication, domesticated and constrained by modesty and shame, he feared "men would be tyrannized by women ... For, given the ease with which women arouse men's senses—men would finally be their victims ..." His contemporaries saw it differently because Rousseau thought that mothers should breastfeed their children. Jean-François Marmontel, Marmontel wrote that his wife thought, "One must forgive something," she said, "in one who has taught us to be mothers." Rousseau's ideas have influenced progressive "child-centered" education. John Darling's 1994 book ''Child-Centered Education and its Critics'' portrays the history of modern pedagogy, educational theory as a series of footnotes to Rousseau, a development he regards as bad. The theories of educators such as Rousseau's near contemporaries Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Pestalozzi, Stéphanie Félicité Ducrest de St-Albin, comtesse de Genlis, Mme. de Genlis and, later, Maria Montessori and John Dewey, which have directly influenced modern educational practices, have significant points in common with those of Rousseau.


Religion

Having converted to Roman Catholicism early in life and returned to the austere
Calvinism Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Refor ...
of his native Geneva as part of his period of moral reform, Rousseau maintained a profession of that religious philosophy and of John Calvin as a modern lawgiver throughout the remainder of his life. Unlike many of the more agnostic Enlightenment philosophers, Rousseau affirmed the necessity of religion. His views on religion presented in his works of philosophy, however, may strike some as discordant with the doctrines of both Catholicism and Calvinism. Rousseau's strong endorsement of religious toleration, as expounded in ''Emile, or On Education, Émile'', was interpreted as advocating
indifferentism Indifferentism, in the Catholic faith, is the belief held by some that no one religion or philosophy is superior to another. The Catholic Church ascribes indifferentism to many atheism, atheistic, materialism, materialistic, pantheism, pantheistic, ...
, a heresy, and led to the condemnation of the book in both Calvinist
Geneva , neighboring_municipalities= Carouge Carouge () is a Municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland. History Carouge is first mentioned in the Early Middle Ages as ''Quadruvium'' and ''Quatruvio''. In 124 ...

Geneva
and Catholic Paris. Although he praised the Bible, he was disgusted by the Christianity of his day. Rousseau's assertion in ''
The Social Contract ''The Social Contract'', originally published as ''On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Political Right'' (french: Du contrat social; ou Principes du droit politique) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 â ...
'' that true followers of Christ would not make good citizens may have been another reason for his condemnation in Geneva. He also repudiated the doctrine of original sin, which plays a large part in Calvinism. In his "Letter to Beaumont", Rousseau wrote, "there is no original perversity in the human heart." In the 18th century, many Deism, deists viewed God merely as an abstract and impersonal creator of the universe, likened to a giant machine. Rousseau's deism differed from the usual kind in its emotionality. He saw the presence of God in the creation as good, and separate from the harmful influence of society. Rousseau's attribution of a spiritual value to the beauty of nature anticipates the attitudes of 19th-century Romanticism towards nature and religion. (Historians—notably William Everdell, Graeme Garrard, and Darrin McMahon—have additionally situated Rousseau within the Counter-Enlightenment.) Rousseau was upset that his deism was so forcefully condemned, while those of the more atheistic philosophers were ignored. He defended himself against critics of his religious views in his "Letter to Christophe de Beaumont, Mgr de Beaumont, the Archbishop of Paris", "in which he insists that freedom of discussion in religious matters is essentially more religious than the attempt to impose belief by force."


Composer

Rousseau was a successful composer of music, who wrote seven operas as well as music in other forms, and made contributions to music as a theorist. As a composer, his music was a blend of the late Baroque style and the emergent Classical period (music), Classical fashion, i.e. Galant music, Galant, and he belongs to the same generation of transitional composers as Christoph Willibald Gluck and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, C. P. E. Bach. One of his more well-known works is the one-act opera ''Le devin du village, The Village Soothsayer''. It contains the duet "Non, Colette n'est point trompeuse," which was later rearranged as a standalone song by Ludwig van Beethoven, Beethoven, and the gavotte in scene no. 8 is the source of the tune of the folk song "Go Tell Aunt Rhody". He also composed several noted motets, some of which were sung at the Concert Spirituel in Paris. Rousseau's Aunt Suzanne was passionate about music and heavily influenced Rousseau's interest in music. In his ''Confessions'', Rousseau claims he is "indebted" to her for his passion of music. Rousseau took formal instruction in music at the house of Françoise-Louise de Warens. She housed Rousseau on and off for about 13 years, giving him jobs and responsibilities. In 1742, Rousseau developed a system of musical notation that was compatible with typography and numbered. He presented his invention to the Academie Des Sciences, but they rejected it, praising his efforts and pushing him to try again. In 1743, Rousseau wrote his first opera, ', which was first performed in 1745. Rousseau and
Jean-Philippe Rameau Jean-Philippe Rameau (; – ) was one of the most important French composer A composer (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally s ...

Jean-Philippe Rameau
argued over the superiority of Italian music over French. Rousseau argued that Italian music was superior based on the principle that melody must have priority over harmony. Rameau argued that French music was superior based on the principle that harmony must have priority over melody. Rousseau's plea for melody introduced the idea that in art, the free expression of a creative person is more important than the strict adherence to traditional rules and procedures. This is now known today as a characteristic of Romanticism. Rousseau argued for musical freedom, and changed people's attitudes towards music. His works were acknowledged by composers such as Christoph Willibald Gluck and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. After composing ''The Village Soothsayer'' in 1752, Rousseau felt he could not go on working for the theater because he was a moralist who had decided to break from worldly values. Musical compositions * ' (1743) * ''Les Fetes de Remire'' (1745) * ''Symphonie à Cors de Chasse'' (1751) * ''Le Devin du village'' (1752) – opera in 1 act * ''Salve Regina'' (1752) – antiphone * ''Chansons de Bataille'' (1753) * ''Pygmalion (Rousseau), Pygmalion'' (1762/1770) – melodrama * ''Avril'' – aire a poesía de Rémy Belleau * ''Les Consolations des Misères de Ma Vie'' (1781) * ''Daphnis et Chloé'' * ''Que le jour me dure!'' * ''Le Printemps de Vivaldi'' (1775)


Legacy


General will

Rousseau's idea of the ''volonté générale'' ("general will") was not original but rather belonged to a well-established technical vocabulary of juridical and theological writings in use at the time. The phrase was used by
Diderot Denis Diderot (; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the ''Encyclopédie'' along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. He was a prominent fi ...

Diderot
and also by Montesquieu (and by his teacher, the Oratory of Jesus, Oratorian friar Nicolas Malebranche). It served to designate the common interest embodied in legal tradition, as distinct from and transcending people's private and particular interests at any particular time. It displayed a rather democratic ideology, as it declared that the citizens of a given nation should carry out whatever actions they deem necessary in their own sovereign assembly. The concept was also an important aspect of the more radical 17th-century republican tradition of Baruch Spinoza, Spinoza, from whom Rousseau differed in important respects, but not in his insistence on the importance of equality:


French Revolution

Robespierre and Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, Saint-Just, during the Reign of Terror, regarded themselves to be principled egalitarian republicans, obliged to do away with superfluities and corruption; in this they were inspired most prominently by Rousseau. According to Robespierre, the deficiencies in individuals were rectified by upholding the 'common good' which he conceptualized as the collective will of the people; this idea was derived from Rousseau's ''General Will''. The revolutionaries were also inspired by Rousseau to introduce Deism as the new official civil religion of France: Rousseau's influence on the French Revolution was noted by
Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS">New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS/nowiki>_1729_–_9_July_1797)_was_an_Anglo-Irish_Politician.html" "title="New_Style">NS.html" ;"title ...
, who critiqued Rousseau in "Reflections on the Revolution in France," and this critique reverberated throughout Europe, leading Catherine the Great to ban his works. This connection between Rousseau and the French Revolution (especially the Terror) persisted through the next century. As François Furet notes that "we can see that for the whole of the nineteenth century Rousseau was at the heart of the interpretation of the Revolution for both its admirers and its critics."


Effect on the American Revolution

According to some scholars, Rousseau exercised minimal influence on the Founding Fathers of the United States, despite similarities between their ideas. They shared beliefs regarding the self-evidence that "all men are created equal," and the conviction that citizens of a republic be educated at public expense. A parallel can be drawn between the United States Constitution's concept of the "Common good, general welfare" and Rousseau's concept of the "general will". Further commonalities exist between Jeffersonian democracy and Rousseau's praise of Switzerland and Corsica's economies of isolated and independent homesteads, and his endorsement of a well-regulated militia, such as those of the Swiss cantons. However, Will Durant, Will and Ariel Durant have opined that Rousseau had a definite political influence on America. According to them: One of Rousseau's most important American followers was textbook writer Noah Webster (1758–1843), who was influenced by Rousseau's ideas on pedagogy in ''Emile'' (1762). Webster structured his ''Speller'' in accord with Rousseau's ideas about the stages of a child's intellectual development. Rousseau's writings perhaps had an indirect influence on American literature through the writings of William Wordsworth, Wordsworth and Immanuel Kant, Kant, whose works were important to the New England transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as on Unitarians such as theologian William Ellery Channing. ''The Last of the Mohicans'' and other American novels reflect republican and egalitarian ideals present alike in Thomas Paine and in English Romantic primitivism.


Criticisms of Rousseau

The first to criticize Rousseau were his fellow ''Philosophes'', above all, Voltaire. According to Jacques Barzun,
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778), known by his ''nom de plume A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a ...

Voltaire
was annoyed by the Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, first discourse, and outraged by the Discourse on Inequality, second. Voltaire's reading of the second discourse was that Rousseau would like the reader to "walk on all fours" befitting a savage. Samuel Johnson told his biographer
James Boswell James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck (; 29 October 1740 ( N.S.) – 19 May 1795), was a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-Eur ...

James Boswell
, "I think him one of the worst of men; a rascal, who ought to be hunted out of society, as he has been". Jean-Baptiste Blanchard was his leading Catholic opponent. Blanchard rejects Rousseau's negative education, in which one must wait until a child has grown to develop reason. The child would find more benefit from learning in his earliest years. He also disagreed with his ideas about female education, declaring that women are a dependent lot. So removing them from their motherly path is unnatural, as it would lead to the unhappiness of both men and women. Historian Jacques Barzun states that, contrary to myth, Rousseau was no primitivist; for him:
The model man is the independent farmer, free of superiors and self-governing. This was cause enough for the ''philosophes hatred of their former friend. Rousseau's unforgivable crime was his rejection of the graces and luxuries of civilized existence. Voltaire had sung "The superfluous, that most necessary thing." For the high bourgeois standard of living Rousseau would substitute the middling peasant's. It was the country versus the city—an exasperating idea for them, as was the amazing fact that every new work of Rousseau's was a huge success, whether the subject was politics, theater, education, religion, or a novel about love.
As early as 1788, Germaine de Staël, Madame de Staël published her ''Letters on the works and character of J.-J. Rousseau''. In 1819, in his famous speech "On Ancient and Modern Liberty", the political philosopher Benjamin Constant, a proponent of constitutional monarchy and representative democracy, criticized Rousseau, or rather his more radical followers (specifically the Gabriel Bonnot de Mably, Abbé de Mably), for allegedly believing that "everything should give way to collective will, and that all restrictions on individual rights would be amply compensated by participation in social power." Frédéric Bastiat severely criticized Rousseau in several of his works, most notably in "The Law", in which, after analyzing Rousseau's own passages, he stated that:
And what part do persons play in all this? They are merely the machine that is set in motion. In fact, are they not merely considered to be the raw material of which the machine is made? Thus the same relationship exists between the legislator and the prince as exists between the agricultural expert and the farmer; and the relationship between the prince and his subjects is the same as that between the farmer and his land. How high above mankind, then, has this writer on public affairs been placed?
Bastiat believed that Rousseau wished to ignore forms of social order created by the people—viewing them as a automaton, thoughtless mass to be shaped by philosophers. Bastiat, who is considered by thinkers associated with the Austrian School of Economics to be one of the precursors of the "spontaneous order", presented his own vision of what he considered to be the "Natural Order" in a simple economic chain in which multiple parties might interact without necessarily even knowing each other, cooperating and fulfilling each other's needs in accordance with basic economic laws such as supply and demand. In such a chain, to produce clothing, multiple parties have to act independently—''e.g.'' farmers to fertilize and cultivate land to produce fodder for the sheep, people to shear them, transport the wool, turn it into cloth, and another to tailor and sell it. Those persons engage in economic exchange by nature, and don't need to be ordered to, nor do their efforts need to be centrally coordinated. Such chains are present in every branch of human activity, in which individuals produce or exchange goods and services, and together, naturally create a complex social order that does not require external inspiration, central coordination of efforts, or bureaucratic control to benefit society as a whole. Bastiat also believed that Rousseau contradicted himself when presenting his views concerning human nature; if nature is "sufficiently invincible to regain its empire", why then would it need philosophers to direct it back to a natural state? Another point of criticism Bastiat raised was that living purely in nature would doom mankind to suffer unnecessary hardships. The Marquis de Sade's ''Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue'' (1791) partially parodied and used as inspiration Rousseau's sociological and political concepts in the ''Discourse on Inequality'' and ''The Social Contract''. Concepts such as the state of nature, civilization being the catalyst for corruption and evil, and humans "signing" a contract to mutually give up freedoms for the protection of rights, particularly referenced. The Comte de Gernande in ''Justine'', for instance, after Thérèse asks him how he justifies abusing and torturing women, states:
The necessity mutually to render one another happy cannot legitimately exist save between two persons equally furnished with the capacity to do one another hurt and, consequently, between two persons of commensurate strength: such an association can never come into being unless a contract [''un pacte''] is immediately formed between these two persons, which obligates each to employ against each other no kind of force but what will not be injurious to either. . . [W]hat sort of a fool would the stronger have to be to subscribe to such an agreement?Sade, Marquis de, (1990) [1791], ''Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, & Other Writings'', Grove Press, p. 645.
Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS">New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS/nowiki>_1729_–_9_July_1797)_was_an_Anglo-Irish_Politician.html" "title="New_Style">NS.html" ;"title ...
formed an unfavorable impression of Rousseau when the latter visited England with Hume and later drew a connection between Rousseau's egoistic philosophy and his personal vanity, saying Rousseau "entertained no principle... but vanity. With this vice he was possessed to a degree little short of madness". Charles Dudley Warner wrote about Rousseau in his essay, ''Equality''; "Rousseau borrowed from Hobbes as well as from Locke in his conception of popular sovereignty; but this was not his only lack of originality. His discourse on primitive society, his unscientific and unhistoric notions about the original condition of man, were those common in the middle of the eighteenth century." In 1919, Irving Babbitt, founder of a movement called the "New humanism (literature), New Humanism", wrote a critique of what he called "sentimental humanitarianism", for which he blamed Rousseau. Babbitt's depiction of Rousseau was countered in a celebrated and much reprinted essay by Arthur Oncken Lovejoy, A.O. Lovejoy in 1923. In France, fascist theorist Charles Maurras, founder of ''Action Française'', "had no compunctions in laying the blame for both ''Romantisme et Révolution'' firmly on Rousseau in 1922." During the Cold War, Rousseau was criticized for his association with nationalism and its attendant abuses, for example in . This came to be known among scholars as the "totalitarian thesis". Political scientist J.S. Maloy states that "the twentieth century added Nazism and Stalinism to Jacobinism on the list of horrors for which Rousseau could be blamed. ... Rousseau was considered to have advocated just the sort of invasive tampering with human nature which the totalitarian regimes of mid-century had tried to instantiate." But he adds that "The totalitarian thesis in Rousseau studies has, by now, been discredited as an attribution of real historical influence." Arthur Melzer, however, while conceding that Rousseau would not have approved of modern nationalism, observes that his theories do contain the "seeds of nationalism", insofar as they set forth the "politics of identification", which are rooted in sympathetic emotion. Melzer also believes that in admitting that people's talents are unequal, Rousseau therefore tacitly condones the tyranny of the few over the many. Others counter, however, that Rousseau was concerned with the concept of equality under the law, not equality of talents. For Stephen T. Engel, on the other hand, Rousseau's nationalism anticipated modern theories of "imagined communities" that transcend social and religious divisions within states. On similar grounds, one of Rousseau's strongest critics during the second half of the 20th century was political philosopher Hannah Arendt. Using Rousseau's thought as an example, Arendt identified the notion of sovereignty with that of the general will. According to her, it was this desire to establish a single, unified will based on the stifling of opinion in favor of public passion that contributed to the excesses of the French Revolution.


Appreciation and influence

The book ''The Story of Civilization#X. Rousseau and Revolution (1967), Rousseau and Revolution'', by Will Durant, Will and Ariel Durant, begins with the following words about Rousseau: The German writers Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Schiller, and Johann Gottfried Herder, Herder have stated that Rousseau's writings inspired them. Herder regarded Rousseau to be his "guide", and Schiller compared Rousseau to Socrates. Goethe, in 1787, stated: "''Emile, or On Education, Emile'' and its sentiments had a universal influence on the cultivated mind." The elegance of Rousseau's writing is held to have inspired a significant transformation in French poetry and drama—freeing them from rigid literary norms. Other writers who were influenced by Rousseau's writings included Giacomo Leopardi, Leopardi in Italy; Alexander Pushkin, Pushkin and Leo Tolstoy, Tolstoy in Russia; William Wordsworth, Wordsworth, Robert Southey, Southey, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Coleridge, Lord Byron, Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Shelley, and John Keats, Keats in England; and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau, Thoreau in America. According to Tolstoy: "At sixteen I carried around my neck, instead of the usual cross, a medallion with Rousseau's portrait." Rousseau's ''
Discourse on the Arts and Sciences ''A Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences'' (1750), also known as ''Discourse on the Sciences and Arts'' (French: ''Discours sur les sciences et les arts'') and commonly referred to as ''The First Discourse'', is an essay by Geneva ...
'', emphasizing individualism and repudiating "civilization", was appreciated by, among others, Thomas Paine, William Godwin, Shelley, Tolstoy, and Edward Carpenter. Rousseau's contemporary
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778), known by his ''nom de plume A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a ...

Voltaire
appreciated the section in Emile, or On Education, Emile titled ''Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar''. Modern admirers of Rousseau include John Dewey and Claude Lévi-Strauss. According to Matthew Josephson, Rousseau has remained controversial for more than two centuries, and has continued to gain admirers and critics down to the present time. However, in their own way, both critics and admirers have served to underscore the significance of the man, while those who have evaluated him with fairness have agreed that he was the finest thinker of his time on the question of civilization.


Works


Major works

* ', 1743 * ''
Discourse on the Arts and Sciences ''A Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences'' (1750), also known as ''Discourse on the Sciences and Arts'' (French: ''Discours sur les sciences et les arts'') and commonly referred to as ''The First Discourse'', is an essay by Geneva ...
'' (''Discours sur les sciences et les arts''), 1750 * ''Narcissus, or The Self-Admirer: A Comedy'', 1752 * ''Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men'' (''Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes''), 1754 * ''Letter on French Music'', 1753 (') * ''Discourse on Political Economy'', 1755 (') * ''Letter to M. D'Alembert on Spectacles'', 1758 (''Lettre à d'Alembert sur les spectacles'') * ''Julie; or, The New Heloise'' (''Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse''), 1761 * ''
Emile, or On Education ''Emile, or On Education'' (french: Émile, ou De l’éducation) is a treatise on the nature of education and on the nature of Human, man written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who considered it to be the "best and most important" of all his writings. ...
'' (''Émile, ou de l'éducation''), 1762 (includes "The Creed of a Savoyard Priest") * ''
The Social Contract ''The Social Contract'', originally published as ''On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Political Right'' (french: Du contrat social; ou Principes du droit politique) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 â ...
, or Principles of Political Right'' (''Du contrat social''), 1762 * ''Four Letters to M. de Malesherbes'', 1762 * ''Letters Written from the Mountain'', 1764 (') * ''Dictionary of Music''. 1767 (''Dictionnaire de la musique'') * ''Confessions (Rousseau), Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau'' (''Les Confessions''), 1770, published 1782 * ''Constitutional Project for Corsica'', 1772 * ''Considerations on the Government of Poland'', 1772 * ''Letters on the Elements of Botany'' * ''Essay on the Origin of Languages'', published 1781 (''Essai sur l'origine des langues'') * ''Dialogues: Rousseau, Judge of Jean-Jacques'', published 1782 * '' Reveries of the Solitary Walker'', incomplete, published 1782 (''Rêveries du promeneur solitaire'')


Editions in English

* ''Basic Political Writings'', trans. Donald A. Cress. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1987. * ''Collected Writings'', ed. Roger Masters and Christopher Kelly, Dartmouth: University Press of New England, 1990–2010, 13 vols. * ''The Confessions'', trans. Angela Scholar. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. * ''Emile, or On Education'', trans. with an introd. by Allan Bloom, New York: Basic Books, 1979. * "On the Origin of Language", trans. John H. Moran. In ''On the Origin of Language: Two Essays''. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986. * ''Reveries of a Solitary Walker'', trans. Peter France. London: Penguin Books, 1980. * '' 'The Discourses' and Other Early Political Writings'', trans. Victor Gourevitch. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. * '' 'The Social Contract' and Other Later Political Writings'', trans. Victor Gourevitch. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. * '' 'The Social Contract'', trans. Maurice Cranston. Penguin: Penguin Classics Various Editions, 1968–2007. * ''The Political writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau'', edited from the original MCS and authentic editions with introduction and notes by C.E.Vaughan, Blackwell, Oxford, 1962. (In French but the introduction and notes are in English). * ''Rousseau on Women, Love, and Family'' (2009), an anthology of Rousseau's writings some of which were translated by the editors for this volume


See also

* Anarchism * Anarcho-primitivism * Communism * Eat the rich (slogan), Eat the Rich, a saying attributed to Rousseau * Georges Hébert, a physical culturist influenced by Rousseau's teachings * Let them eat cake, a saying of Rousseau's * Liberalism * List of abolitionist forerunners * Rousseau Institute * Philosophy of education#Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Rousseau's educational philosophy * Socialism * Schutterij – civil militia


Notes


References


Sources

* . * * * * * . * . * * * * * * * . Reprinted in ''Essays in the History of Ideas'' (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press). "A classic treatment of the ''Second Discourse''" – Nicholas Dent. * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* . * . * . * . * . * Cooper, Laurence (1999).'' Rousseau, Nature and the Problem of the Good Life''. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press. * . * Maurice Cranston, Cranston, Maurice (1982). ''Jean-Jacques: The Early Life and Work''. New York: Norton. * . * Dent, Nicholas J. H. (1988). ''Rousseau: An Introduction to his Psychological, Social, and Political Theory''. Oxford: Blackwell. * . * . * Derathé, Robert (1948)''. Le Rationalism de J.-J. Rousseau''. Press Universitaires de France. * . * Derrida, Jacques (1976). ''Of Grammatology'', trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. * * Farrell, John (2006). ''Paranoia and Modernity: Cervantes to Rousseau.'' New York: Cornell University Press. * Garrard, Graeme (2003). ''Rousseau's Counter-Enlightenment: A Republican Critique of the Philosophes''. Albany: State University of New York Press. * David Gauthier, Gauthier, David (2006). ''Rousseau: The Sentiment of Existence''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Hendel, Charles W. (1934). ''Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Moralist''. 2 Vols. (1934) Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs Merrill. * *Kanzler, Peter. The Leviathan (1651), The Two Treatises of Government (1689), The Social Contract (1762), The Constitution of Pennsylvania (1776), 2020. * George Kateb, Kateb, George (1961). "Aspects of Rousseau's Political Thought", ''Political Science Quarterly'', December 1961. * Dimitri Kitsikis, Kitsikis, Dimitri (2006). ''Jean-Jacques Rousseau et les origines françaises du fascisme''. Nantes: Ars Magna Editions. * Gilbert LaFreniere, LaFreniere, Gilbert F. (1990). "Rousseau and the European Roots of Environmentalism." ''Environmental History Review'' 14 (No. 4): 41–72 * Lange, Lynda (2002). ''Feminist Interpretations of Jean-Jacques Rousseau''. University Park: Penn State University Press. * Maguire, Matthew (2006). ''The Conversion of the Imagination: from Pascal through Rousseau to Tocqueville''. Harvard University Press. * Marks, Jonathan (2005). ''Perfection and Disharmony in the Thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Roger Masters (ed.), 1964. ''The First and Second Discourses by Jean-Jacques Rousseau'', translated by Roger D Masters and Judith R Masters. New York: St. Martin's Press. * Roger Masters, 1968. ''The Political Philosophy of Rousseau''. Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press (), also available in French (). * * Melzer, Arthur (1990). ''The Natural Goodness of Man: On the System of Rousseau's Thought''. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. * Paiva, Wilson (2019). ''Discussing human connectivity in Rousseau as a pedagogical issue''. Article available at: https://www.revistas.usp.br/ep/article/view/162558/156385?fbclid=IwAR3wjSt4HxfvGJexkQdu8AHYVTsdyW6l2AjLvfbBelVzpUuau7J9P7-xLEM * Carole Pateman, Pateman, Carole (1979). ''The Problem of Political Obligation: A Critical Analysis of Liberal Theory''. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. * * * Riley, Patrick (ed.) (2001). ''The Cambridge Companion to Rousseau''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Robinson, Dave & Groves, Judy (2003). ''Introducing Political Philosophy''. Icon Books. . * * * * Schaeffer, Denise. (2014) ''Rousseau on Education, Freedom, and Judgment''. Pennsylvania State University Press. * Simpson, Matthew (2006). ''Rousseau's Theory of Freedom''. London: Continuum Books. * * Jean Starobinski, Starobinski, Jean (1988). ''Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Transparency and Obstruction''. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. * Strauss, Leo (1953). ''Natural Right and History''. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, chap. 6A. * * Strong, Tracy B. (2002). ''Jean Jacques Rousseau and the Politics of the Ordinary''. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. * Jacob Talmon, Talmon, Jacob R. (1952). ''The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy''. New York: W. W. Norton. * * Williams, David Lay (2007). ''Rousseau's Platonic Enlightenment''. Pennsylvania State University Press. * * Wokler, Robert. (1995). ''Rousseau''. Oxford: Oxford University Press. * * Wraight, Christopher D. (2008), ''Rousseau's The Social Contract: A Reader's Guide''. London: Continuum Books.


External links

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