Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Portrait of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1753
Short Name: Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Full Name: Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 1712-1778
Birth Year: 1712
Death Year: 1778

Jean Jacques Rousseau; b. 1712, Geneva; d. 1778, Paris. Born in the city-state of Geneva in the Swiss Confederacy, his mother died whenhe was 9 days old. Rousseau's father was a watchmaker, but got into trouble with local officials and left the town, leaving his son with an uncle who had Rousseau and his own son board with a Calvinist minister for 2 years. He was later apprenticed to a notary and then to an engraver, who beat him. He ran away from Geneva at 16. In nearby Savoy, he sheltered with a Roman Catholic priest. He was sent to Italy to convert to Catholicism. He supported himself as a servant, secretary, and tutor. His life was filled with personal and political upheaval, and his writings infuriated many, to the point he had to leave several habitations. He had many friends and enemies due to his philosophies on life, religion, and God. He was concerned with decay of society (having experienced the French Revolution) and became a philosopher, writer, botanist, and composer, he influenced the Enlightenment period through his political philosophy, both in France and across Europe, including aspects of the French Revolution and overall development of modern political and educational thought. A member of the Jacobin Club, he was the most popular of philosophers. He believed that self-preservation was the highest virtue and that we should study to understand how society operates and where pitfalls lie. His personal family life was very chaotic as a result of his outspoken opinions and writings. He returned to his Calvinistic beliefs in later life, but digressed from them on several issues important to that church.

John Perry

Wikipedia Biography

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (UK: /ˈruːsoʊ/, US: /ruːˈsoʊ/ French: [ʒɑ̃ ʒak ʁuso]; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, 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.

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