Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born on June 28, 1712 in Geneva, Switzerland. His mother
died shortly after his birth. When Rousseau was 10 his father fled from Geneva to avoid
imprisonment for a minor offense, leaving young Jean-Jacques to be raised by an aunt and
uncle. Rousseau left Geneva at 16, wandering from place to place, finally moving to Paris
in 1742. He earned his living during this period, working as everything from footman to
assistant to an ambassador.
Rousseaus profound insight can be found in almost every trace of modern philosophy
today. Somewhat complicated and ambiguous, Rousseaus general philosophy tried to
grasp an emotional and passionate side of man which he felt was left out of most previous
philosophical thinking.
In his early writing, Rousseau contended that man is essentially good, a “noble savage”
when in the “state of nature” (the state of all the other animals, and the condition man was
in before the creation of civilization and society), and that good people are made unhappy
and corrupted by their experiences in society. He

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