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Biography Of Jean Jacques Rousseau Essay

2216 words - 9 pages

Biography of Jean-Jacques Rousseau MAN is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself
the master of

others, and still remains a greater slave then they. How did this
change come about?

I do not know. How can it be legitimate? That question I think I can
answer.

(Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 1997)

Jean- Jacques Rousseau was born on the 25th of June 1712 in Geneva,
Switzerland. He was reared by his aunt and uncle as his mother died
shortly after childbirth and his father abandoned him. At the age of
sixteen he left Geneva he travelled for fourteen years before settling
in Paris in 1742.

In 1751 Rousseau began his philosophical works with his essay on the
arts and sciences and went on to write other famous works such as the
Social Contract. Rousseau also made a text of his own life ‘his
confessions and Rousseau judge of Jean-Jacques are apologies for what
went wrong’ (McClelland, J.S 1996)

Rousseau’s philosophical thinking was somewhat complicated he tried to
grasp an emotional and passionate side of mankind. Rousseau’s
political philosophy had two important principals. The first and
foremost being that politics and morality should not be separated and
the second principal is freedom which the state should do it’s utmost
to preserve. Rousseau was a man of the people and his social and
political theory was written from the bottom up and not the top down.

In his works the Confessions Rousseau tells us what it is like to rise
from the bottom in a highly stratified society dominated by an ancient
regime society. (McClelland, J.S 1996) He believed that values such as
simplicity, honesty, goodness of heart and straightforward religious
beliefs are all life’s disadvantages and that it is impossible for
anyone to live their life to official Christian values. He believed
that the more sophisticated a society became it would become easier to
lose sight of the values that make life worth living. For Rousseau
Modernity is an alienated existence where man realises that if he
could have everything in society he would still be unsatisfied.
(McClelland, J.S 1996)

In his works the discourse on the origins of inequality Rousseau
attempts to explain how the world got into this mess. He explains “men
in the state of nature” where there would be naturally unequal men but
with no motive for dominance it is only in society that inequality
matters. He believed society arouse when someone claimed a piece of
land as his own and managed to convince others that it was his. This
person was the founder of civil society. Unlike inequality in a state
of nature inequality in property does matter. Out...

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