Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (UK: /ˈrs/, US: /rˈs/[1][2] French: [ʒɑ̃ ʒak ʁuso]; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher (philosophe), writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political, economic, and educational thought.[3]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Portrait by Maurice Quentin de La Tour, 1753
Born(1712-06-28)28 June 1712
Died2 July 1778(1778-07-02) (aged 66)
PartnerThérèse Levasseur (1745–1778; his death)
EraAge of Enlightenment
(early modern philosophy)
RegionWestern philosophy
Main interests
Political philosophy, music, education, literature
Notable ideas
General will, amour de soi, amour-propre, moral simplicity of humanity, child-centered learning, civil religion, popular sovereignty, positive liberty, public opinion
Writing career
Periodfrom 1743
SubjectSocial change
Literary movementSentimentalism
Notable worksThe Social Contract
Julie, or the New Heloise
Notable awardsAcadémie de Dijon (1750)

His Discourse on Inequality and The Social Contract are cornerstones in modern political and social thought. Rousseau's sentimental novel Julie, or the New Heloise (1761) was important to the development of preromanticism and romanticism in fiction.[4][5] His Emile, or On Education (1762) is an educational treatise on the place of the individual in society. Rousseau's autobiographical writings—the posthumously published Confessions (composed in 1769), which initiated the modern autobiography, and the unfinished Reveries of the Solitary Walker (composed 1776–1778)—exemplified the late 18th-century "Age of Sensibility", and featured an increased focus on subjectivity and introspection that later characterized modern writing.

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