Historical Figures

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Of Genevan Calvinist origin, orphan of a mother, Rousseau oscillates between several homes. Madame de Warens took him in (Annecy, Chambéry, etc.) and awakened him to Catholicism. In his Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts , he laid the foundations of his thought:society is a perversion for the man who is born good. His work met with unexpected success. He continues with his Discourse on the origin and foundations of inequality among men and Social Contract , in which he sets out the principles of a policy defending equality between men which will inspire the Declaration of Man and Citizen . Preceptor, he advocates learning through experience and not knowledge (Émile ou De l’Éducation ). But the Parliament seized his works and he fled to Switzerland, consolidating his feeling of persecution at home (mockery of Voltaire, etc.). Philosopher of the Enlightenment, he participates in the Encyclopedia by Diderot. Through his exaltation of self and nature, he laid the foundations of romanticism (Rêveries d’un walker solitaire ). His ashes now rest in the Pantheon.

June 28, 1712 - July 2, 1778




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