Jean-Jacques Rousseau (/ruːˈsoʊ/; French: [ʒɑ̃ʒak
ʁuso]; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher,
writer, and composer of the 18th century, mainly active in France. His
political philosophy influenced the Enlightenment across Europe, as
well as aspects of the
French Revolution and the overall development
of modern political and educational thought.
Rousseau's novel Emile, or On
Education is a treatise on the education
of the whole person for citizenship. His sentimental novel Julie, or
the New Heloise was of importance to the development of
pre-romanticism and romanticism in fiction. Rousseau's
autobiographical writings—his Confessions, which initiated the
modern autobiography, and his Reveries of a Solitary
Walker—exemplified the late 18th-century movement known as the Age
of Sensibility, and featured an increased focus on subjectivity and
introspection that later characterized modern writing. His Discourse
on Inequality and
The Social Contract
The Social Contract are cornerstones in modern
political and social thought.
During the period of the French Revolution, Rousseau was the most
popular of the philosophes among members of the Jacobin Club. He was
interred as a national hero in the
Panthéon in Paris, in 1794, 16
years after his death.
1.2.1 Return to Paris
1.2.2 Return to
1.2.3 Rousseau, Voltaire, and Frederick the Great
1.2.5 Back in Paris
1.2.6 In Britain (1766–1767)
188.8.131.52 Quarrel with Hume
184.108.40.206 Return to France
1.2.7 In Grenoble
1.2.8 Final years
2.1 Theory of Natural Human
2.1.1 Stages of human development
2.2 Political theory
Education and child rearing
4.1 General will
4.2 French Revolution
4.3 Effect on the United States of America
4.4 Criticisms of Rousseau
4.5 Appreciation and influence
6.1 Major works
6.2 Editions in English
6.3 Online texts
7 See also
11 External links
Rousseau was born in Geneva, which was at the time a city-state and a
Protestant associate of the Swiss Confederacy. Since 1536,
Huguenot republic and the seat of Calvinism. 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
The house where Rousseau was born at number 40, Grand-Rue.
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, 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 twenty-five 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 protested this
situation, saying "a sovereign that never performs an act of
sovereignty is an imaginary being".[page needed] He was shot
by order of the Little Council. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's father, Isaac,
was not in the city at this time, but Jean-Jacques's grandfather
supported Fatio and was penalized for it.
The trade of watchmaking had become a family tradition by the time of
Rousseau's father, Isaac Rousseau. Isaac followed his grandfather,
father and brothers into the business, except for a short stint
teaching dance as a dance master.[page needed] Isaac,
notwithstanding his artisan status, was well educated and a lover of
music. "A Genevan watchmaker", Rousseau wrote, "is a man who can be
introduced anywhere; a Parisian watchmaker is only fit to talk about
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
Geneva was concerned with maintaining its ties to foreign
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
thirties.[page needed] 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 to never interact with him again.[page needed] 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. Later, the young Rousseau was told a romantic fairy-tale about
the situation by the adults in his family—a tale where young love
was denied by a disapproving patriarch but that prevailed by sibling
loyalty that, in the story, resulted in love conquering all and two
marriages uniting the families on the same day. Rousseau never learnt
the truth.[page needed]
Rousseau was born on 28 June 1712, and he would later relate: "I was
born almost dying, they had little hope of saving
me".[page needed] He was baptized on 4 July 1712, in the great
cathedral.[page needed] His mother died of puerperal fever
nine days after his birth, which he later described as "the first of
my misfortunes".[page needed]
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.[page needed] 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.[page needed] 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".[page needed] 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
Rousseau had no recollection of learning to read, but he remembered
how when he was 5 or 6 his father encouraged his love of reading:
Every night, after supper, we read some part of a small collection of
romances [adventure stories], which had been my mother's. My father's
design was only to improve me in reading, and he thought these
entertaining works were calculated to give me a fondness for it; but
we soon found ourselves so interested in the adventures they
contained, that we alternately read whole nights together and could
not bear to give over until at the conclusion of a volume. Sometimes,
in the morning, on hearing the swallows at our window, my father,
quite ashamed of this weakness, would cry, "Come, come, let us go to
bed; I am more a child than thou art." (Confessions, Book 1)
Rousseau's reading of escapist stories (such as
L'Astrée by 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".[page needed]
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'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.[page needed]
Witnessing the local townsfolk participate in militias 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.[page needed]
When Rousseau was 10, 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.
Les Charmettes, where Rousseau lived with Françoise-Louise de Warens
from 1735 to 1736, now a museum dedicated to Rousseau
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 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.
Savoy he took shelter with a Roman Catholic priest, who
introduced him to 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 to help bring Protestants to Catholicism. They sent the boy
to 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 in order to regain it.
In converting to Catholicism, both De Warens and Rousseau were likely
reacting to Calvinism's insistence on the total depravity 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 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 (
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.
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 (in fact a 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, 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.
In 1742, Rousseau moved to
Paris in order to present the Académie des
Sciences with a new system of numbered musical notation he believed
would make his fortune. His system, intended to be compatible with
typography, is based on a single line, displaying numbers representing
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
Palazzo belonging to Tommaso Querini at 968 Cannaregio
served as the French Embassy during Rousseau's period as Secretary to
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.
This awoke in him a lifelong love for Italian music, particularly
I had brought with me from
Paris the prejudice of that city against
Italian music; but I had also received from nature a sensibility and
niceness of distinction which prejudice cannot withstand. I soon
contracted that passion for Italian music with which it inspires all
those who are capable of feeling its excellence. In listening to
barcaroles, I found I had not yet known what singing was...
— Confessions[page needed]
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
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 [Thérèse] allowed 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
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 and Edmund Burke, as the basis for ad hominem attacks.
While in Paris, Rousseau became a close friend of French philosopher
Diderot and, beginning with some articles on music in 1749,
contributed numerous articles to
Diderot and D'Alembert's great
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 under a lettre de cachet
for opinions in his "Lettre sur les aveugles", that hinted at
materialism, a belief in atoms, and natural selection.
According to science historian Conway Zirkle, Rousseau saw the concept
of natural selection "as an agent for improving the human
Rousseau had read about an essay competition sponsored by the
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
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 was awarded the first prize and gained him significant
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), which
was performed for 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's La serva
padrona, prompted the Querelle des Bouffons, 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 and others, making an important contribution with
his Letter on French Music.
On returning to
Geneva in 1754, Rousseau reconverted to
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), 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, which partly inspired his epistolary
Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse
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 highhandedly. He resented being at
Mme. d'Épinay's beck and call and detested the insincere conversation
and shallow atheism of the Encyclopedistes 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".
Pierre Alexandre du Peyrou, rich inhabitant of Neufchâtel, plantation
owner, writer, friend and publisher of some of Rousseau's oeuvre. His
mansion was Le Palais du Peyrou.
Rousseau's break with the Encyclopedistes 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 of Diderot, La
Mettrie and D'Holbach. During this period, Rousseau enjoyed the
support and patronage of Charles François Frédéric de
Montmorency-Luxembourg and the Prince de Conti, 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 and the political faction
surrounding his mistress, Madame de Pompadour. Even with them,
however, Rousseau went too far, courting rejection when he criticized
the practice of tax farming, in which some of them engaged.
Rousseau's 800-page novel of sentiment, 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 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 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
Unitarianism as it is called today).
Because it rejected original sin and divine revelation, both
Protestant and Catholic authorities took offense.[b]
Ramsay, Allan (1766), Rousseau wearing an Armenian costume
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 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 and warrants
were issued for his arrest.[page needed] Former friends such
Jacob Vernes of
Geneva could not accept his views, and wrote
A sympathetic observer,
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
Rousseau, Voltaire, and Frederick the Great
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
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 [to 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 advised him to move to the
Principality of Neuchâtel, ruled by
Frederick the Great
Frederick the Great of Prussia.
Subsequently, Rousseau accepted an invitation to reside in 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, then wrote to the local governor of Neuchatel,
Marischal Keith who was a mutual friend of theirs:
We must succor this poor unfortunate. His only offense is to have
strange opinions which he thinks are good ones. I will send a hundred
crowns, from which you will be kind enough to give him as much as he
needs. I think he will accept them in kind more readily than in cash.
If we were not at war, if we were not ruined, I would build him a
hermitage with a garden, where he could live as I believe our first
fathers did...I think poor Rousseau has missed his vocation; he was
obviously born to be a famous anchorite, a desert father, celebrated
for his austerities and flagellations...I conclude that the morals of
your savage are as pure as his mind is illogical.
Rousseau, touched by the help he received from Frederick, stated that
from then onwards he took a keen interest in Frederick's activities.
Seven Years' War
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".
For more than two years (1762-1765) Rousseau lived at Môtiers,
spending his time in reading and writing and meeting visitors such
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 Ile de St.-Pierre, having a
solitary house. Although it was within the Canton of Bern, 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). 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 Ile de St.-Pierre and moved to Strasbourg. At this point:
He had invitations to Potsdam from Frederick, to Corsica from Paoli,
to Lorraine from Saint-Lambert, to Amsterdam from Rey the publisher,
and to England from David Hume.
He subsequently decided to accept Hume's invitation to go to
Back in Paris
On 9 December 1765, having secured a passport from the French
government to come to Paris, Rousseau left Strasbourg for
he arrived after a week, and lodged in a palace of his friend, the
Prince of Conti. 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:
It is impossible to express or imagine the enthusiasm of this nation
in Rousseau's favor...No person ever so much enjoyed their
Voltaire and everybody else are quite eclipsed.
One significant meeting could have taken place at this time: Diderot
wanted to reconcile and make amends with Rousseau. However, since both
Diderot and Rousseau wanted the other person to take the initiative in
this respect, no meeting between the two took place.
On 1 January 1766, Grimm wrote a report to his clientele, in which he
included a letter said to have been written by
Frederick the Great
Frederick the Great to
Rousseau. This letter had actually been composed by
Horace Walpole as
a playful hoax.[c] Walpole had never met Rousseau, but he was well
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
In Britain (1766–1767)
On 4 January 1766, Rousseau left
Paris along with Hume, the merchant
de Luze who was an old friend of Rousseau, and Rousseau's pet dog
Sultan. After a four-day journey to Calais, where they stayed for two
nights, the travelers embarked on a ship to Dover. On 13 January 1766
they arrived in London.
Soon after their arrival,
David Garrick arranged a box at the Drury
Lane Theatre for Hume and Rousseau on a night when the King and Queen
were also present. Garrick was himself performing in a comedy by
himself, and also 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,
Rousseau was lodged by Hume in the house of Madam Adams in London, but
he 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. He now asked for Therese to rejoin him.
James Boswell was in Paris, and offered to escort Thérèse
to Rousseau. (Boswell had earlier met Rousseau and Therese at
Motiers; he had subsequently also sent Therese a garnet necklace and
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 Therese 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, Therese 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 Therese and Rousseau at Wootton Hall. On 22 March,
Rousseau and Therese set forth for Wootton, against Hume's advise.
Hume and Rousseau would never meet again.
Initially Rousseau was pleased with 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, the letter featuring Horace Walpole's hoax on Rousseau was
published in a British daily without mention of Walpole being 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 which only
Hume was privy to. Further, Rousseau was aggrieved to find that
Hume had been lodging in London with Francois 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 critical of the British; 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
was tampering with his mail. The misunderstanding had
arisen because Rousseau tired of receiving voluminous correspondence
whose postage he had to pay.[d]Hume offered to open Rousseau's mail
himself and 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 Hume's alleged participation in
the composition of Horace Walpole's faux letter was the reason for
Rousseau's anger in her estimate.[e]
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—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,
the quarrel resounded in Geneva, Amsterdam, Berlin, and St.
Petersburg. A dozen pamphlets redoubled the bruit. Walpole printed his
version of the dispute; Boswell attacked Walpole; Mme. de La Tour's
Precis sur M.Rousseau called Hume a traitor;
Voltaire sent him
additional material on Rousseau's faults and crimes, on his
frequentation of "places of ill fame," and on his seditious activities
in Switzerland. George III "followed the battle with intense
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."
Return to France
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, Therese advised him that the
servants at Wootton Hall sought to poison him. On 22 May 1767,
Rousseau and Therese embarked from
Dover to Calais.
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. Many French nobles offered him a residence at this
time. Initially, Rousseau decided to stay in an estate near Paris
belonging to Mirabeau. Subsequently, on 21 June 1767, he moved to a
chateau of the Prince of Conti in 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
destroyed through burning, and
Voltaire mendaciously accused Rousseau
of being the culprit. In June 1768, Rousseau
left Trie, leaving Therese behind, and went first to Lyon, and
subsequently to Bourgoin. He now invited Therese 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 Therese left for
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
with Rousseau's romance The Village Soothsayer to public acclaim. On 8
June, Rousseau and Therese left
Lyon for Paris; they reached
In Paris, Rousseau and Therese 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.
For defending 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: QuoteI expected a session of seven or eight hours; it
lasted fourteen or fifteen. … The writing is truly a phenomenon of
genius, of simplicity, candor, and courage. How many giants reduced to
dwarves! How many obscure but virtuous men restored to their rights
and avenged against the wicked by the sole testimony of an honest
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
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
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 urinary disease had also been
greatly alleviated after he stopped listening to the advice of
doctors; efnAt 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
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 also neurological damage after this incident. 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.
The tomb of Rousseau in the crypt of the Panthéon, Paris
In 1777, Rousseau received a royal visitor, when 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
In the spring of 1778, the 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 and Sophie
and 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
Following his death, Grimm, 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
On 4 July 1778, Rousseau was buried on the Île des Peupliers, which
became a place of pilgrimage for his many admirers. On 11 October
1794, his remains were moved to the Panthéon, where they were placed
near the remains of Voltaire.[f]
Theory of Natural Human
Statue of Rousseau on the Île Rousseau, Geneva
The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said 'This is
mine', and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the
true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and
murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have
saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and
crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are
undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us
all, and the earth itself to nobody.
— Rousseau 1754
In common with other philosophers of the day, Rousseau looked to a
State of Nature as a normative guide.
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" and he especially praised the admirable moderation of the
Caribbeans in expressing the sexual urge despite the fact that
they live in a hot climate, which "always seems to inflame the
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
enlightenment of civil man". Referring to the stage of human
development which Rousseau associates with savages, Rousseau writes:
Hence although men had become less forebearing, and although natural
pity had already undergone some alteration, this period of the
development of human faculties, maintaining a middle position between
the indolence of our primitive state and the petulant activity of our
egocentrism, must have been the happiest and most durable epoch. The
more one reflects on it, the more one finds that this state was the
least subject to upheavals and the best for man, and that he must have
left it only by virtue of some fatal chance happening that, for the
common good, ought never to have happened. The example of savages,
almost all of whom have been found in this state, seems to confirm
that the human race had been made to remain in it always; that this
state is the veritable youth of the world; and that all the subsequent
progress has been in appearance so many steps toward the perfection of
the individual, and in fact toward the decay of the species."
The perspective of many of today's environmentalists can be traced
back to Rousseau who believed that the more men deviated from the
state of nature, the worse off they would be. Espousing the belief
that all degenerates in men's hands, Rousseau taught that men would be
free, wise, and good in the state of nature and that instinct and
emotion, when not distorted by the unnatural limitations of
civilization, are nature's voices and instructions to the good life.
Rousseau's "noble savage" stands in direct opposition to the man of
Stages of human development
Rousseau believed that the savage stage was not the first stage of
human development, but the third stage. Rousseau held that this third
savage stage of human societal development was an optimum, between the
extreme of the state of brute animals and animal-like "ape-men" on the
one hand and the extreme of decadent civilized life on the other. This
has led some critics to attribute to Rousseau the invention of the
idea of the noble savage,[g] which Arthur Lovejoy conclusively
showed misrepresents Rousseau's thought.
The expression "the noble savage" was first used in 1672 by British
John Dryden in his play The Conquest of Granada.
Rousseau wrote that morality was not a societal construct, but rather
"natural" in the sense of "innate", an outgrowth from man's
instinctive disinclination to witness suffering, from which arise the
emotions of compassion or empathy. These were sentiments shared with
animals, and whose existence even
Rousseau (1755), Discourse on Inequality, Holland, frontispiece and
Contrary to what many detractors have claimed, Rousseau never suggests
that humans in the state of nature act morally; in fact, terms such as
"justice" or "wickedness" are inapplicable to prepolitical society as
Rousseau understands it. Morality proper, self-restraint, can only
develop through careful education in a civil state. Humans "in a state
of Nature" may act with all of the ferocity of an animal. They are
good only in a negative sense, insofar as they are self-sufficient and
thus not subject to the vices of political society.
In fact, Rousseau's natural man is virtually identical to a solitary
chimpanzee or other ape, such as the orangutan as described by Buffon;
and the "natural" goodness of humanity is thus the goodness of an
animal, which is neither good nor bad. Rousseau, a deteriorationist,
proposed that, except perhaps for brief moments of balance, at or near
its inception, when a relative equality among men prevailed, human
civilization has always been artificial, creating inequality, envy,
and unnatural desires.
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 as an individual,
one needs an alternative perspective to come to the realization that
they are a 'self'.
In Rousseau's philosophy, society's negative influence on men centers
on its transformation of amour de soi, a positive self-love, into
amour-propre, or pride.
Amour de soi represents the instinctive human
desire for self-preservation, combined with the human power of reason.
In contrast, amour-propre is artificial and encourages man to compare
himself to others, thus creating unwarranted fear and allowing men to
take pleasure in the pain or weakness of others.
Rousseau was not the first to make this distinction. It had been
invoked by Vauvenargues, among others.
Discourse on the Arts and Sciences
Discourse on the Arts and Sciences Rousseau argues that the
arts and sciences have not been beneficial to humankind, because they
arose not from authentic human needs but rather as a result of pride
and vanity. Moreover, the opportunities they create for idleness and
luxury have contributed to the corruption of man. He proposed that the
progress of knowledge had made governments more powerful and had
crushed individual liberty; and he concluded that material progress
had actually undermined the possibility of true friendship by
replacing it with jealousy, fear, and suspicion.
In contrast to the optimistic view of other Enlightenment figures, for
Rousseau, progress has been inimical to the well-being of humanity,
that is, unless it can be counteracted by the cultivation of civic
morality and duty.
Only in civil society can man be ennobled—through the use of reason:
The passage from the state of nature to the civil state produces a
very remarkable change in man, by substituting justice for instinct in
his conduct, and giving his actions the morality they had formerly
lacked. Then only, when the voice of duty takes the place of physical
impulses and right of appetite, does man, who so far had considered
only himself, find that he is forced to act on different principles,
and to consult his reason before listening to his inclinations.
Although in this state he deprives himself of some advantages which he
got from nature, he gains in return others so great, his faculties are
so stimulated and developed, his ideas so extended, his feelings so
ennobled, and his whole soul so uplifted, that, did not the abuses of
this new condition often degrade him below that which he left, he
would be bound to bless continually the happy moment which took him
from it for ever, and, instead of a stupid and unimaginative animal,
made him an intelligent being and a man.
Society corrupts men only insofar as the
Social Contract has not de
facto succeeded, as we see in contemporary society as described in the
Discourse on Inequality
Discourse on Inequality (1754).
In this essay, which elaborates on the ideas introduced in the
Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, Rousseau traces man's social
evolution from a primitive state of nature to modern society. The
earliest solitary humans possessed a basic drive for self-preservation
and a natural disposition to compassion or pity. They differed from
animals, however, in their capacity for free will and their potential
perfectibility. As they began to live in groups and form clans they
also began to experience family love, which Rousseau saw as the source
of the greatest happiness known to humanity.
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.
Rousseau posits that the original, deeply flawed Social Contract
(i.e., that of Hobbes), which led to the modern state, was made at the
suggestion of the rich and powerful, who tricked the general
population into surrendering their liberties to them and instituted
inequality as a fundamental feature of human society. Rousseau's own
conception of the
Social Contract can be understood as an alternative
to this fraudulent form of association.
At the end of the Discourse on Inequality, Rousseau explains how the
desire to have value in the eyes of others comes to undermine personal
integrity and authenticity in a society marked by interdependence, and
hierarchy. In the last chapter of the Social Contract, Rousseau would
ask 'What is to be done?' He answers that now all men can do is to
cultivate virtue in themselves and submit to their lawful rulers. To
his readers, however, the inescapable conclusion was that a new and
Social Contract was needed.
Like other Enlightenment philosophers, Rousseau was critical of the
Atlantic slave trade.
Part of the Politics series on
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Republic of Venice
Republic of Genoa
Republic of Florence
Spanish American wars of independence
French Revolution of 1848
5 October 1910 revolution
Revolution of 1918–19
War of Independence
Revolution of 1921
11 September 1922 Revolution
Spanish Civil War
Birth of the Italian Republic
Revolution of 1952
14 July Revolution
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1969 Libyan coup d'état
Cambodian coup of 1970
Third Hellenic Republic
1987 Fijian coups d'état
Nepalese Civil War
Part of the Politics series on
Robert Neelly Bellah
José Pérez Adán
Île Rousseau, Geneva
The Social Contract
The Social Contract 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.
The treatise begins with the dramatic opening lines, "Man is born
free, and everywhere he is in chains. Those who think themselves the
masters of others are indeed greater slaves than they."
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 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 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
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
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".
Education and child rearing
Jean-Jacques Rousseau on a Romanian stamp, 1962
Main article: Emile, or On Education
The noblest work in education is to make a reasoning man, and we
expect to train a young child by making him reason! This is beginning
at the end; this is making an instrument of a result. If children
understood how to reason they would not need to be educated.
— Rousseau, Emile[page needed]
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. The 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
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
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, in order 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
Feminists, beginning in the late 18th century with Mary Wollstonecraft
in 1792 have criticized Rousseau for his confinement of women to
the domestic sphere—unless women were 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. Marmontel wrote that his wife thought, "One must
forgive something," she said, "in one who has taught us to be
Rousseau's ideas have influenced progressive "child-centered"
education. John Darling's 1994 book Child-Centered
its Critics portrays the history of modern educational theory as a
series of footnotes to Rousseau, a development he regards as bad. Good
or bad, the theories of educators such as Rousseau's near
contemporaries Pestalozzi, Mme. de Genlis and, later, Maria Montessori
and John Dewey, which have directly influenced modern educational
practices, do have significant points in common with those of
Having converted to Roman Catholicism early in life and returned to
Calvinism 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. His views on religion presented in his
works of philosophy, however, may strike some as discordant with the
doctrines of both Catholicism and Calvinism.
At the time, however, Rousseau's strong endorsement of religious
toleration, as expounded by the Savoyard vicar in Émile, was
interpreted as advocating indifferentism, a heresy, and led to the
condemnation of the book in both Calvinist
Geneva and Catholic Paris.
Although he praised the Bible he was disgusted by the Christianity of
his day . His assertion in
The Social Contract
The Social Contract that true
followers of Jesus would not make good citizens may have been another
reason for Rousseau's condemnation in Geneva.
Unlike many of the more radical Enlightenment philosophers, Rousseau
affirmed the necessity of religion. But he repudiated the doctrine of
original sin, which plays so large a part in
Calvinism (in On
Philosophy, Morality, and Religion, Rousseau writes "there is no
original perversity in the human heart").
In the 18th century, many deists viewed God merely as an abstract and
impersonal creator of the universe, which they likened to a giant
machine. Rousseau's deism differed from the usual kind in its intense
emotionality. He saw the presence of God in his creation, including
mankind, which, apart from the harmful influence of society, is good,
because God is good. Rousseau's attribution of a spiritual value to
the beauty of nature anticipates the attitudes of 19th-century
Romanticism towards nature and religion.
Rousseau was upset that his deistic views were so forcefully
condemned, while those of the more atheistic philosophes were ignored.
He defended himself against critics of his religious views in his
"Letter to Christophe 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."
This section may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. Please
improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or
discuss the issue on the talk page. (September 2011)
Bicentenary of Rousseau's birth (plaque), Geneva, 28 June 1912,
Jean-Jacques, aime ton pays [love your country] , showing
Rousseau's father gesturing towards the window. The scene is drawn
from a footnote to the Letter to d'Alembert where Rousseau recalls
witnessing the popular celebrations following the exercises of the St
Rousseau's idea of the volonté générale ("general will") was not
original with him 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 and also by
Montesquieu (and by his
teacher, the 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 Spinoza, from whom Rousseau
differed in important respects, but not in his insistence on the
importance of equality:
While Rousseau's notion of the progressive moral degeneration of
mankind from the moment civil society established itself diverges
markedly from Spinoza's claim that human nature is always and
everywhere the same… for both philosophers the pristine equality of
the state of nature is our ultimate goal and criterion… in shaping
the "common good", volonté générale, or Spinoza's mens una, which
alone can ensure stability and political salvation. Without the
supreme criterion of equality, the general will would indeed be
meaningless. […] When in the depths of the
French Revolution the
Jacobin clubs all over
France regularly deployed Rousseau when
demanding radical reforms. and especially anything—such as land
redistribution—designed to enhance equality, they were at the same
time, albeit unconsciously, invoking a radical tradition which reached
back to the late seventeenth century.
Robespierre and 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
the new official civil religion of France:
Ceremonial and symbolic occurrences of the more radical phases of the
Revolution invoked Rousseau and his core ideas. Thus the ceremony held
at the site of the demolished Bastille, organized by the foremost
artistic director of the Revolution, Jacques-Louis David, in August
1793 to mark the inauguration of the new republican constitution, an
event coming shortly after the final abolition of all forms of feudal
privilege, featured a cantata based on Rousseau's democratic
pantheistic deism as expounded in the celebrated "Profession de foi
d'un vicaire savoyard" in Book Four of Émile.
Effect on the United States of America
According to some scholars, Rousseau exercised minimal influence on
the American founders like
Thomas Jefferson despite the similarities
between their ideas, such as shared beliefs regarding the
self-evidence of the claim that "all men are created equal," their
shared conviction that citizens of a republic be educated at public
expense, and the evident parallel between the United States
Constitution framers' concept of the "general welfare" and Rousseau's
concept of the "general will"; and the parallels between Jeffersonian
democracy, and Rousseau's praise of Switzerland and Corsica's
economies of isolated and self-sufficient independent homesteads and
his endorsement of a well-regulated citizen militia, such as those of
the Swiss cantons.
However, Will and
Ariel Durant have opined that Rousseau had definite
political influence on America. According to the Durants:
The first sign of [Rousseau's] political influence was in the wave of
public sympathy that supported active French aid to the American
Revolution. Jefferson derived the Declaration of Independence from
Rousseau as well as from Locke and Montesquieu. As ambassador to
France (1785–89) he absorbed much from both
Rousseau...The success of the
American Revolution raised the prestige
of Rousseau's philosophy.
One of Rousseau's most important American followers was
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
Rousseau's writings perhaps had an indirect influence on American
literature through the writings of
Wordsworth and Kant, whose works
were important to the New England
Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo
Emerson, as well as on such Unitarians as theologian William Ellery
Channing. American novelist James Fennimore Cooper's Last of the
Mohicans and other novels reflect republican and egalitarian ideals
present alike in
Thomas Paine and in English Romantic
Criticisms of Rousseau
A portrait of Rousseau in later life
The first to criticize Rousseau were his fellow Philosophes, above
all, Voltaire. According to Jacques Barzun,
Voltaire was annoyed by
the first discourse, and outraged by the second. Voltaire's reading of
the second discourse was that Rousseau would like the reader to "walk
on all fours" befitting a savage.
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.
Barzun states that, contrary to myth, Rousseau was no primitivist; for
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, 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 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."
Frederic 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 strongly believed that Rousseau wished to ignore those forms
of social order, that are created by people themselves, as people are
just a thoughtless mass for philosophers to shape. Bastiat, who is
considered by the 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". He presented a simple economic chain in which multiple parties
who might live in different states and most likely will not even know
each other, cooperate and fulfill each other's needs in accordance
with the basic economic laws, such as the laws of supply and demand.
In such a chain, in order to produce clothing, multiple parties have
to act independently - from the farmers who fertilize and cultivate
the land in order to produce fodder for the sheep, another person has
to shear them, several different persons have to transport the wool,
turn it into cloth, and yet another have to tailor it and sell. Those
persons engage in economic exchange by nature, and they 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 very complex social order that does not require
external inspiration, central coordination of efforts, or any form of
bureaucratic control to benefit the society as a whole. This,
according to Bastiat, is a proof that humanity itself is capable of
creating a complex socioeconomic order that might, and most likely is,
superior to an arbitrary vision of a philosopher.
Bastiat also believed that Rousseau contradicted himself when
presenting his views concerning the human nature - if nature is
"sufficiently invincible to regain its empire", why then would it need
philosophers to direct it back to what is natural? Conversely, he
believed that the humanity, in accordance with the natural instincts,
would choose what it would have chosen if left alone, in accordance
with the laws of economy and human nature itself.
Another point of criticism raised by Bastiat was whether men can be
better off in the state of nature, working in isolation. Bastiat
provided an example of a day laborer of his time, who, thanks to the
division of labor in a free society, can easily obtain several pieces
of clothing, bread, a cot, and a shelter. The division of labor, which
leaves some men producing cots, others bread, and yet others building
shelters, benefits him more than having to go through the pain of
obtaining all these things alone, without cooperation. As such,
Bastiat concluded, returning to the illusionary "state of nature", by
which, in economic sense, Rousseau means essentially the isolation of
efforts, would doom mankind and force it to suffer unncesessary
Rousseau's sociological and political concepts in the Discourse on
Inequality and The Social Contract, 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, were in part implicitly parodied by and inspiration for the
Marquis de Sade, particularly in Justine, or the Misfortunes of Virtue
(1791). The Comte de Gernande in Justine, for instance, after
Thérèse asks him how he justifies abusing and torturing women,
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 in order to subscribe to such an
Edmund Burke 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".
In 1919, Irving Babbitt, founder of a movement called the "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 A.O. Lovejoy in 1923.[page needed] 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 Talmon, Jacob
Leib (1952), The Origins of
Totalitarian Democracy .[j] 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 Rousseau and Revolution, by Will and Ariel Durant, begins
with the following words about Rousseau:
How did it come about that a man born poor, losing his mother at birth
and soon deserted by his father, afflicted with a painful and
humiliating disease, left to wander for twelve years among alien
cities and conflicting faiths, repudiated by society and civilization,
repudiating Voltaire, Diderot, the
Encyclopédie and the Age of
Reason, driven from place to place as a dangerous rebel, suspected of
crime and insanity, and seeing, in his last months, the apotheosis of
his greatest enemy--how did it come about that this man, after his
death, triumphed over Voltaire, revived religion, transformed
education, elevated the morals of France, inspired the Romantic
movement and the French Revolution, influenced the philosophy of Kant
and Schopenhauer, the plays of Schiller, the novels of Goethe, the
poems of Wordsworth, Byron, and Shelley, the socialism of Marx, the
ethics of Tolstoy, and, altogether, had more effect upon posterity
than any other writer or thinker of that eighteenth century in which
writers were more influential than they had ever been before?
The German writers Goethe, Schiller, and Herder have stated that
Rousseau's writings inspired them. Herder regarded Rousseau to be his
Schiller compared Rousseau to Socrates. Goethe, in 1787,
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 Leopardi in Italy; Pushkin
and Tolstoy in Russia; Wordsworth, Southey, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley,
and Keats in England; and Hawthorne and Thoreau in America. According
to Tolstoy: "At fifteen I carried around my neck, instead of the usual
cross, a medallion with Rousseau's portrait."
Rousseau's Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, emphasizing
individualism and repudiating "civilization", was appreciated by,
among others, Thomas Paine, William Godwin, Shelley, Tolstoy, and
Edward Carpenter. Rousseau's contemporary
the section in
Emile titled Profession of Faith of the Savoyard
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.[k]
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 fashion, and he belongs to the same
generation of transitional composers as
Christoph Willibald Gluck
Christoph Willibald Gluck and
C. P. E. Bach. One of his more well-known works is the one-act opera
Le devin du village, containing the duet "Non, Colette n'est point
trompeuse" which was later rearranged as a standalone song by
Beethoven. He also composed several noted motets, some of which
were sung at the Concert Spirituel in Paris.
Music of piece Avril, p. 2
Le Devin du village (1752) - opera in 1 act
Salve Regina (1752) - antiphone
Pygmalion (1762) - melodrama
Avril - aire a poesía de Rémy Belleau
Daphnis et Chloé
Que le jour me dure!
Dissertation sur la musique moderne, 1736
Discourse on the Arts and Sciences
Discourse on the Arts and Sciences (Discours sur les sciences et les
Narcissus, or The Self-Admirer: A Comedy, 1752
Le devin du village: an opera, 1752, "score"
(PDF). (21.7 MB)
Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men
Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men (Discours
sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes),
Discourse on Political Economy, 1755
Letter to M. D'Alembert on Spectacles, 1758 (Lettre à d'Alembert sur
Julie, or the New Heloise
Julie, or the New Heloise (Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse), 1761
Emile, or On
Education (Émile, ou de l'éducation), 1762
The Creed of a Savoyard Priest, 1762 (in Émile)
The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (Du contrat
Four Letters to M. de Malesherbes, 1762
Pygmalion: a Lyric Scene, 1762
Letters Written from the Mountain, 1764 (Lettres de la montagne)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Les Confessions), 1770,
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
Dialogues: Rousseau, Judge of Jean-Jacques, published 1782
Reveries of a 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
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
'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).
Jean-Jacques Rousseau at Project Gutenberg
Works by or about
Jean-Jacques Rousseau at Internet Archive
Jean-Jacques Rousseau at
LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
A Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences English
Jean-Jacques Rousseau English translation, as published
by Project Gutenberg, 2004 [EBook #3913]
Considerations on the Government of Poland
Considerations on the Government of Poland English translation
Constitutional Project for Corsica
Constitutional Project for Corsica English translation
Discourse on Political Economy English translation
Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men
Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men English
The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right English
'Elementary Letters on Botany', 1771–3 at the Internet
ArchivePDF (4.23 MB) English translation
Full Ebooks of Rousseau in French on the website 'La philosophie'
Mondo Politico Library's presentation of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's book,
The Social Contract
The Social Contract (G.D.H. Cole translation; full text)
Narcissus, or The Self-Admirer: A Comedy English translation
Project Concerning New Symbols for
Music at the Wayback Machine
(archived 20 December 2008) French text and English translation,
archived from the original[permanent dead link] on 2008-12-20
(in French) Texts of J.-J. Rousseau and biography at athena.unige.ch
(in French) Full Text of J.-J. Rousseau
French and Francophone literature portal
Eat the Rich (other), a saying attributed to Rousseau
Georges Hébert, a physical culturist influenced by Rousseau's
Let them eat cake, a saying of Rousseau's
List of abolitionist forerunners
Rousseau's educational philosophy
Schutterij – civil militia
And indeed, a British visitor commented, 'Even the lower class of
people [of Geneva] are exceedingly well informed, and there is perhaps
no city in Europe where learning is more universally diffused';
another at mid-century noticed that Genevan workmen were fond of
reading the works of Locke and Montesquieu.
— Leo Damrosch
^ Rousseau's biographer
Leo Damrosch believes that the authorities
chose to condemn him on religious rather than political grounds for
tactical reasons.[page needed]
My present fame is owing to a very trifling composition, but which has
made incredible noise. I was one evening at Mme Geoffrin's joking on
Rousseau's affectations and contradictions, and said some things that
diverted them. When I came home I put them in a letter, and showed it
next day to Helvetius and the Duc de Nivernois; who were so pleased
with it that, after telling me some faults in the language,...they
encouraged me to let it be seen. As you know, I willingly laugh at
mountebanks, political or literary, let their talents be ever so
great; I was not averse. The copies have spread like wildfire, et me
voice a la mode [and behold, I am in fashion]...Here is the letter:
The King of Prussia to M.Rousseau: My dear Jean Jacques:
You have renounced Geneva, your fatherland; you have had yourself
chased from Switzerland, a country so much praised in your writings;
France has issued a warrant against you. Come, then, to me; I admire
your talents; I am amused by your dreams, which (be it said in
passing) occupy you too much and too long. You must at last be wise
and happy. You have had yourself talked of enough for peculiarities
hardly fitting to a truly great man. Show your enemies that you can
sometimes have common sense; this will annoy them without doing you
harm. My states offer you a peaceful retreat; I wish you well, and
would like to help you if you can find it good. But if you continue to
reject my aid, be assured that I shall tell no one. If you persist in
racking your brains to find new misfortunes, choose such as you may
desire; I am king, and can procure any to suit your wishes; and—what
surely will never happen to you among your enemies—I shall cease to
persecute you when you cease to find your glory in being persecuted.
Your good friend,
— Horace Walpole's letter to H.S. Conway, dated 12 January
^ In those days in Europe the recipient had to pay for the postage for
any mail received.
Rousseau's letter is atrocious; it is to the last degree extravagant
and inexcusable...But do not believe him capable of any falsehood or
artifice; nor imagine that he is either an impostor or a scoundrel.His
anger has no just cause, but it is sincere; of that I feel no doubt.
Here is what I imagine to be the cause of it. I have heard it said,
and he has perhaps been told, that one of the best phrases in Mr
Walpole's letter was by you, and that you had said in jest, speaking
in the name of the King of Prussia, "If you wish for persecutions, I
am a king, and can procure them for you of any sort you like," and
that Mr Walpole...had said you were its author. If this be true, and
Rousseau knows of it, do you wonder that, sensitive, hot-headed,
melancholy, and proud,...he has become enraged?
— Madame de Boufflers's letter to David Hume, written in
From that haven of neighborly peace their spirits rose to renew their
war for the soul of the Revolution, of France, and of Western man
— Will and Ariel Durant.
^ Some writers still use the term "noble savage" in describing race
relations in New France, for example Garraway, Doris, The Libertine
Colony [page needed], Peabody, Sue, There are No Slaves in
France [page needed], Dubois, Laurent, The Avengers of the
New World [page needed], and Miller, Christopher, The French
Atlantic Triangle [page needed]; for information about the
relationship between the French and English colonial contexts, see
Festa, Lynn, Sentimental Figures of Empire [page needed].
^ In locating the basis of ethics in emotions rather than reason
Rousseau agreed with Smith, Adam (1759), Theory of Moral
Sentiments [page needed].
^ Cooper was a follower of Tom Paine, who in turn was an admirer of
Rousseau. For the classical origins of American ideals of liberty, see
also Sibi Imperiosus: Cooper's Horatian Ideal of Self-Governance in
The Deerslayer, Villa Julie College, July 2005 .
^ Talmon's thesis is rebutted by Leigh, Ralph A (1963), "Liberté et
autorité dans le Contrat Social",
Jean-Jacques Rousseau et son oeuvre
Jean-Jacques Rousseau & his work] (in French), Paris .
Another tenacious proponent of the totalitarian thesis was Crocker,
Lester C (1968), Rousseau's Social Contract, An interpretive Essay,
Cleveland: Case Western Reserve Press . Two reviews of the debate
are: Chapman, J.W. (1968), Rousseau:
Totalitarian or Liberal?, New
York: AMS Press and Fralin, Richard (1978), Rousseau and
Representation, NY: Columbia University Press .
For more than two centuries since Rousseau's writings were first
published, controversy over the man and his ideas has continued
virtually unabated. In their diverse ways his admirers and his
opponents both have affirmed his importance in world history:the
supporting party has seen him as the Friend of Man, the prophet of the
new democratic ages that were to come after him, and one of the
fathers of the French Revolution; his antagonists have pronounced him
as a dangerous heretic who scorned organized religion, and as the
inspirer of romanticism in literature and an unbridled libertarianism
in politics. Indeed, they have somehow attributed to him the origin of
many of the alleged evils of modern times, ranging from the
restiveness of "hippie" youth to the rigors of totalitarian societies.
However, those who have tried to judge Rousseau fairly have generally
agreed that among the philosophical writers of his century he was the
one who stated the problem of civilization with more clarity and force
than any of his contemporaries....His works as a moralist and
political philosopher influenced and fascinated minds as different as
those of Hume, Kant, Goethe, Byron, Schiller, and, in recent times,
the American behaviorist philosopher John Dewey. New opponents of
conservative bias have continued to write against him in the present
century, but he has also won new admirers, such as the great French
anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss.
— Matthew Josephson, in his introduction to The Essential
^ Webster, "Rousseau", Unabridged Dictionary, Random House
^ "Preromanticism Criticism". Enotes. Retrieved 23 February
^ Darnton, Robert, "6. Readers Respond to Rousseau: The Fabrication of
Romantic Sensitivity", The Great Cat Massacre for some
interesting examples of contemporary reactions to this novel.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Damrosch 2005.
^ Damrosch, Leo (2005-10-30). "Jean-Jacques Rousseau". The New York
Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
^ a b c d Damrosch 2005, p. 31.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 24.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 121.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 168: the count was "a virtual parody of a
parasitic aristocrat, incredibly stupid, irascible, and swollen with
self importance." He spoke no Italian, a language in which Rousseau
was fluent. Although Rousseau did most of the work of the embassy, he
was treated like a valet.
^ Some of Rousseau's contemporaries believed the babies were not his.
George Sand has written an essai, "Les Charmettes" (1865. Printed in
the same volume as "Laura" from the same year) in which she explains
why Rousseau may have accused himself falsely. She quotes her
grandmother, in whose family Rousseau had been a tutor, and who stated
that Rousseau could not get children.
^ Rousseau in his musical articles in the
Encyclopédie engaged in
lively controversy with other musicians, e.g. with Rameau, as in his
article on Temperament, for which see Encyclopédie: Tempérament
(English translation), also Temperament Ordinaire.
^ Zirkle, Conway (25 April 1941), "Natural Selection before the Origin
of Species", Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society,
Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 84 (1): 71–123,
doi:10.2307/984852 (inactive 2017-10-11), JSTOR 984852
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 304.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 357.
^ Rosenblatt, Helena (1997). Rousseau and Geneva: from the first
discourse to the social contract, 1749–1762. Cambridge University
Press. pp. 264–65. ISBN 0-521-57004-2.
^ "Protestantism in Geneva". Blackwood's magazine. 51: 165.
^ Peter Gay, The Enlightenment, The
Science of Freedom, p. 72.
^ a b Durant & Durant 1967, p. 190.
^ a b c Durant & Durant 1967, p. 191.
^ Durant & Durant 1967, p. 192.
^ a b c Durant & Durant 1967, p. 205.
^ a b c d e Durant & Durant 1967, p. 206.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 392.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 393.
Maurice Cranston (2005). The Solitary Self:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau in
Exile and Adversity. University of Chicago Press. p. 113.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 394.
^ a b Damrosch 2005, p. 395.
^ a b c d Durant & Durant 1967, p. 207.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 404.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 405.
^ a b c Damrosch 2005, p. 406.
^ a b c Durant & Durant 1967, p. 208.
^ a b c Damrosch 2005, p. 420.
^ a b c d e Damrosch 2005, p. 421.
^ a b c d e f g Durant & Durant 1967, p. 209.
^ a b Damrosch 2005, p. 407.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 408.
^ a b Damrosch 2005, p. 409.
^ a b c d e f g Durant & Durant 1967, p. 210.
^ a b c d e Damrosch 2005, p. 410.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 411.
^ a b c d Durant & Durant 1967, p. 211.
^ a b c d Durant & Durant 1967, p. 212.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 412.
^ a b Damrosch 2005, p. 419.
^ a b c Durant & Durant 1967, p. 213.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 418.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 431.
^ a b c d e Durant & Durant 1967, p. 214.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 426.
^ a b Damrosch 2005, p. 427.
^ "The manuscripts, Letter from
Andrew Millar to Andrew Mitchell, 26
Andrew Millar Project. University of Edinburgh".
www.millar-project.ed.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 447.
^ Durant & Durant 1967, p. 881.
^ a b c d e Durant & Durant 1967, p. 882.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 448.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 451.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 452.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 453.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 454.
^ a b Damrosch 2005, p. 455.
^ Rousseau and Thérèse le Vasseur were not legally married nor
married in church. A faux marriage took place instead in Bourgoin in
1768. Rousseau himself writes in his Confessions: "...je lui ai
déclaré que je ne l'épouserais jamais ; et même un mariage
public nous eut été impossible à cause de la différence de
religion…" Eyewitnesses have declared that he didn't even use his
own name, but "Renou," which was his alias when he was on the run. He
neither conformed to the official formalities of a legal marriage.
There were two "witnesses" present: mr. de Champagneux, mayor of
Bourgoin en a Mr. de Rosières, both were artillery officers
(Musset-Pathay, V.-D.: Histoire de J.J. Rousseau, Bruxelles 1827).
Read more at:
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 456.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 462.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 463.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 464.
^ a b c d Durant & Durant 1967, p. 883.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 465.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Jean Jacques Rousseau and (trans.) Thomas Martyn (2015). Letters on
the Elements of Botany: Addressed to a Lady. Cambridge University
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 472.
^ a b Damrosch 2005, p. 474.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 475.
^ a b c Damrosch 2005, p. 476.
^ Durant & Durant 1967, p. 885.
^ a b c d e Durant & Durant 1967, p. 886.
^ Victor Gourevitch, ed. (1997). Rousseau: 'The Social Contract' and
Other Later Political Writings. Cambridge University Press.
p. ix. ISBN 978-0-521-42446-2.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 477.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 478.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 479.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 480.
^ Bruce, Alexander, ed. (1908). Review of Neurology and Psychiatry,
Volume 6. T.N. Foulis. p. 437.
^ a b Damrosch 2005, p. 467.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 485.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 486.
^ a b Damrosch 2005, p. 487.
^ Damrosch 2005, p. 481.
^ a b c d Damrosch 2005, p. 488.
^ a b Damrosch 2005, p. 489.
^ a b c Durant & Durant 1967, p. 887.
^ Rousseau, pp. 72–73.
^ Rousseau 1754, p. 78.
^ Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1754), "Discourse on the Origin of
Inequality, part two", The Basic Political Writings, Hackett,
^ Rousseau 1754, p. 65.
^ "Rousseau's 'General Will' & well-ordered society". Québecois
^ An early recorded use in French language of a specific expression
explicitly associating the words 'savage' and 'noble' is Lescarbot,
Marc (1609), "Sauvages sont vrayement nobles", Histoire de la Nouvelle
France [History of the New France] (in French), p. 786,
…revenons à notre Nouvelle-France, ou les hommes sont plus humains
et ne vivent que de ce que Dieu a donné à l'homme, sans devorer
leurs semblables. Aussi faut-il dire d'eux qu'ils sont vrayment
^ Lovejoy, Arthur Oncken (1960) [1923, 1948], "The Supposed
Primitivism of Rousseau's Discourse on Inequality", Essays in the
History of Ideas, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press
^ Einaudi, Mario (1967), The Early Rousseau, Cornell University Press,
p. 5, Arthur Lovejoy's crucial role in dispelling the myth
cultivated with such care by many eighteenth-century philosophes
^ For a history of how the phrase became associated with Rousseau,
Ellingson, Ter (2001), The Myth of the Noble Savage, Berkeley, CA:
University of California Press
^ Babbitt 1919, "Legacy: Criticisms of Rousseau".
^ Miner, Earl (1972), "The Wild Man Through the Looking Glass", in
Dudley, Edward; Novak, Maximillian E, The Wild Man Within: An Image in
Western Thought from the Renaissance to Romanticism, University of
Pittsburgh Press, p. 106, ISBN 9780822975991
^ Ellingson 2001, pp. 8 and passim.
^ Gay, Peter (April–May 2009), "Breeding is Fundamental", Book
Forum, As far as the noble savage is concerned, that phrase is from
Dryden and does not appear in Rousseau's writings. In the years I
taught the history of political theory at Columbia to a sizable class
of undergraduates, I would offer students a hundred dollars if they
could find "Noble Savage" anywhere in Rousseau. I never had to pay
^ Einspahr, Jennifer (2010). "The Beginning that Never Was: Mediation
and Freedom in Rousseau's Political Thought". Review of Politics. 72
(3): 437–61. doi:10.1017/S0034670510000318. Retrieved 5 March
^ Rousseau, "Book I, Chapter 8", Social Contract, Constitution
^ Ed., Gibney (2012). Evolutionary philosophy. Lulu Com. p. 147.
ISBN 978-1105696602. OCLC 936029793.
^ "The Abolition of The Slave Trade". Abolitionism. NYPL.
^ Entry, "Rousseau" in the Routelege Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
Edward Craig, editor, Volume Eight, p. 371
^ Jordan, Michael. "Famous Locksmiths". American Chronicle. Archived
from the original on 2010-08-25. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
^ Wollstonecraft, Mary (2004) . "V". In Brody, Miriam. A
Vindication of the
Rights of Woman. Penguin.
^ Tuana, Nancy (1993). The Less Noble Sex: Scientific, Religious and
Philosophical Conceptions of Women's Nature. Indiana University Press.
p. 161. ISBN 0-253-36098-6.
^ Rousseau, "book V", Emile, p. 359
^ Damrosch, pp. 341–42.
^ Marmontel, Jean François (1826). Memoirs of Marmontel, written by
himself: containing his literary and political life, and anecdotes of
the principal characters of the eighteenth century. Whittaker via
Google Books. pp. 125–26.
^ Darling, John (January 1986). "Child‐centred, Gender‐centred: a
criticism of progressive curriculum theory from Rousseau to Plowden".
Oxford Review of Education. 12 (1): 31–40.
^ R., Curren, Randall (2003). A companion to the philosophy of
education. Blackwell. p. 235. ISBN 978-1405140515.
^ Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Encyclopædia Britannica
^ "There remains therefore the religion of man or Christianity -- not
the Christianity of to-day, but that of the Gospel, which is entirely
different. By means of this holy, sublime, and real religion all men,
being children of one God, recognise one another as brothers, and the
society that unites them is not dissolved even at death. Book IV,
Chapter 8: Civil Religion
^ The full text of the letter is available online only in the French
original: "Lettre à Mgr De Beaumont Archevêque de
(PDF). Archived from the original on 4 July 2007. Retrieved
2007-05-23. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
^ Bertram, Christopher (2012). Zalta, Edward N., ed. The Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 ed.). Metaphysics Research
Lab, Stanford University.
^ Israel, Jonathan I (2002), Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the
Making of Modernity, Oxford University Press, p. 274
^ Israel 2002, p. 717.
^ Schachner, Nathan (1957), Thomas Jefferson: A Biography,
^ Durant & Durant 1967, p. 890.
^ a b c Durant & Durant 1967, p. 891.
^ Rollins, Richard (1980), "2", The Long Journey of Noah Webster
^ Temmer, Mark J (1961), "Rousseau and Thoreau", Yale French Studies
(28: Jean-Jacques Rousseau): 112–21, doi:10.2307/2928950,
^ From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life: 1500 to
the Present (Harper Collins, 2001), p. 384
^ Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence (2001) p. 384
^ Historical & literary memoirs and anecdotes by Friedrich
Melchior Grimm (Freiherr von), Denis Diderot, p. 353. 
^ F. Bastiat, "The Law"
^ Norman Barry, The Tradition of Spontaneous Order
^ F. Bastiat, The Law
^ F. Bastiat, The Law
^ F. Bastiat, Economic Harmonies, p. 65
^ Sade, Marquis de, (1990) , Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom,
& Other Writings, Grove Press, p. 645
^ Burke, Edmund (1791), A Letter to a Member of the National
^ Rousseau and Romanticism, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1919
^ Lovejoy 1948.
^ Harvey, R Simon (1980), Reappraisals of Rousseau: studies in honor
of R. A. Leigh, Manchester University press, and mere concern for the
facts has not inhibited others from doing likewise. Irving Babbitt's
Romanticism still remains the only general work on this
subject though printed as long ago as 1919, but it is grossly
inaccurate, discursive and biased
^ Maloy, J.S. (2005), "The Very Order of Things: Rousseau's Tutorial
Republicanism", Polity, 37 (2): 235–61,
^ Melzer, Arthur (2000), "Rousseau, Nationalism, and the Politics of
Sympathetic Identification", in Kristol, Mark; Blitz, William,
Educating the Prince: Essays in Honor of Harvey C. Mansfield, Rowman
^ Engel, Steven T (Summer 2005), "Rousseau and Imagined Communities",
The Review of Politics, 67 (3): 515–37,
^ Arendt, Hannah (1990), On revolution, p. 76
^ Durant & Durant 1967, p. 3.
^ Durant & Durant 1967, p. 889.
^ a b c Lowell Bair (trans) and
Matthew Josephson (introduction)
(1983). The Essential Rousseau. Meridian. pp. vii, xvi.
^ Green, Edward (2007), "Reconsidering Rousseau's 'Le devin du
village': An Opera of Surprising and Valuable Paradox" (PDF), Ars
Lyrica, Ed Green music, 16: 132, retrieved 17 July 2014
^ Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Motets, edited by Jean-Paul C. Montagnier
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Abizadeh, Arash (2001), "Banishing the Particular: Rousseau on
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Derrida, Jacques (1976). Of Grammatology, trans. Gayatri Chakravorty
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Durant, Will; Durant, Ariel (1967). The Story of Civilization:
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and Germany from 1756, and in the remainder of Europe from 1715 to
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Einaudi, Mario (1968). Early Rousseau. Ithaca: Cornell University
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau et les origines
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Environmentalism." Environmental History Review 14 (No. 4): 41–72
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NJ, Princeton University Press (ISBN 978-0-691-01989-5), also
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Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). "Jean Jacques Rousseau". Stanford Encyclopedia
Publications by and about
Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the catalogue
Helveticat of the Swiss National Library
Encyclopædia Britannica (online ed.) .
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Science Live (lecture), Oxford University,
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Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, The Social Contract, Early modern texts ,
slightly modified for easier reading.
———, His work (audio) (in French)
Anne Davier (2005). "Jean-Jacques Rousseau". In Andreas Kotte.
Theaterlexikon der Schweiz (TLS) / Dictionnaire du théâtre en Suisse
(DTS) / Dizionario Teatrale Svizzero / Lexicon da teater svizzer
[Theater Dictionary of Switzerland] (in French). 3. Zürich: Chronos.
p. 1078. ISBN 978-3-0340-0715-3. LCCN 2007423414.
Rousseau Association [Association Rousseau] (a bilingual association)
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau at Project Gutenberg
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Discourse on the Arts and Sciences
Le devin du village
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Letter to M. D'Alembert on Spectacles
Julie, or the New Heloise
Emile, or On Education
The Social Contract
Constitutional Project for Corsica
Considerations on the Government of Poland
Letters on the Elements of Botany
Essay on the Origin of Languages
Dialogues: Rousseau, Judge of Jean-Jacques
Reveries of a Solitary Walker
Amour de soi
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Battle of the Bridge of Arcole (15–17 Nov 1796)
The Ireland Expedition (Dec 1796)
Naval Engagement off Brittany (13 Jan 1797)
Battle of Rivoli
Battle of Rivoli (14–15 Jan 1797)
Battle of the Bay of Cádiz (25 Jan 1797)
Treaty of Leoben
Treaty of Leoben (17 Apr 1797)
Battle of Neuwied (18 Apr 1797)
Treaty of Campo Formio
Treaty of Campo Formio (17 Oct 1797)
French invasion of Switzerland
French invasion of Switzerland (28 January – 17 May 1798)
French Invasion of Egypt (1798–1801)
Irish Rebellion of 1798 (23 May – 23 Sep 1798)
War (12 Oct – 5 Dec 1798)
Second Coalition (1798–1802)
Siege of Acre (20 Mar – 21 May 1799)
Battle of Ostrach
Battle of Ostrach (20–21 Mar 1799)
Battle of Stockach (25 Mar 1799)
Battle of Magnano
Battle of Magnano (5 Apr 1799)
Battle of Cassano (27 Apr 1799)
First Battle of Zurich
First Battle of Zurich (4–7 Jun 1799)
Battle of Trebbia (19 Jun 1799)
Battle of Novi (15 Aug 1799)
Second Battle of Zurich
Second Battle of Zurich (25–26 Sep 1799)
Battle of Marengo
Battle of Marengo (14 Jun 1800)
Battle of Hohenlinden
Battle of Hohenlinden (3 Dec 1800)
League of Armed Neutrality (1800–02)
Treaty of Lunéville
Treaty of Lunéville (9 Feb 1801)
Treaty of Florence
Treaty of Florence (18 Mar 1801)
Algeciras Campaign (8 Jul 1801)
Amiens (25 Mar 1802)
Eustache Charles d'Aoust
Alexandre de Beauharnais
Jean François Carteaux
Jean Étienne Championnet
Chapuis de Tourville
Adam Philippe, Comte de Custine
Jacques François Dugommier
Charles François Dumouriez
Pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferino
Louis-Charles de Flers
Emmanuel de Grouchy
Jacques Maurice Hatry
François Christophe de Kellermann
Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
François Joseph Lefebvre
Jean Baptiste de Marbot
François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers
Auguste de Marmont
Bon-Adrien Jeannot de Moncey
Jean Victor Marie Moreau
Édouard Mortier, duc de Trévise
Pierre-Jacques Osten (fr)
Catherine-Dominique de Pérignon
Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr
Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer
Belgrand de Vaubois
Claude Victor-Perrin, Duc de Belluno
Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen
Count of Clerfayt (Walloon)
Karl Aloys zu Fürstenberg
Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze
Friedrich Freiherr von Hotze (Swiss)
Friedrich Adolf, Count von Kalckreuth
Pál Kray (Hungarian)
Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc
Charles Eugene, Prince of Lambesc (French)
Maximilian Baillet de Latour (Walloon)
Karl Mack von Leiberich
Rudolf Ritter von Otto (Saxon)
Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Peter Vitus von Quosdanovich
Prince Heinrich XV of Reuss-Plauen
Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló
Johann Mészáros von Szoboszló (Hungarian)
Karl Philipp Sebottendorf
Dagobert von Wurmser
Sir Ralph Abercromby
Admiral Sir James Saumarez
Admiral Sir Edward Pellew
Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany
William V, Prince of Orange
Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen
Luis Firmin de Carvajal
Other significant figures and factions
Society of 1789
Jean Sylvain Bailly
Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
François Alexandre Frédéric, duc de la Rochefoucauld-Liancourt
Isaac René Guy le Chapelier
Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau
Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès
Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord
Nicolas de Condorcet
Madame de Lamballe
Madame du Barry
Louis de Breteuil
Loménie de Brienne
Charles Alexandre de Calonne
Arnaud de La Porte
François-Marie, marquis de Barthélemy
Alexandre-Théodore-Victor, comte de Lameth
Charles Malo François Lameth
Madame de Staël
Pierre Paul Royer-Collard
Jacques Pierre Brissot
Roland de La Platière
Father Henri Grégoire
Marquis de Condorcet
Marie Jean Hérault
Jean Baptiste Treilhard
Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud
Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac
Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve
Jean-Jacques Duval d'Eprémesnil
Olympe de Gouges
Jean-Baptiste Robert Lindet
Louis Marie de La Révellière-Lépeaux
Charles François Lebrun
Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot
Louis Philippe I
Antoine Christophe Merlin
Antoine Christophe Merlin de Thionville
Jean Joseph Mounier
Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours
François de Neufchâteau
Louis Antoine de Saint-Just
Paul Nicolas, vicomte de Barras
Louis Philippe I
Louis Michel le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau
Marquis de Sade
Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois
Philippe-Antoine Merlin de Douai
Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville
Philippe-François-Joseph Le Bas
Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier
Prieur de la Côte-d'Or
Prieur de la Marne
Jean Bon Saint-André
Pierre Louis Prieur
Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac
Antoine Christophe Saliceti
Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne
Pierre Gaspard Chaumette
Jean Baptiste Noël Bouchotte
Louis Antoine, Duke of Enghien
Louis Henri, Prince of Condé
Louis Joseph, Prince of Condé
Joséphine de Beauharnais
Jean Sylvain Bailly
Jacques-Donatien Le Ray
Guillaume-Chrétien de Malesherbes
List of people associated with the French Revolution
Charles-Augustin de Coulomb
Pierre Claude François Daunou
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
French Republican Calendar
Cult of the Supreme Being
Cult of Reason
Temple of Reason
Women in the French Revolution
Symbolism in the French Revolution
Historiography of the French Revolution
Influence of the French Revolution
Marital property (USA)
Estate in land
Bundle of rights
Common good (economics)
Free rider problem
Labor theory of property
Law of rent
Right to property
Tragedy of the commons
Ejido (agrarian land)
restraint on alienation
Freedom to roam
Right of way
Two Treatises of Government
John Stuart Mill
The Great Transformation
What Is Property?
Murray N. Rothbard
The Ethics of Liberty
The Social Contract
The Wealth of Nations
ISNI: 0000 0001 2145 1116
BNF: cb119228797 (data)