Jean-Jacques Rousseau. By: Julissa Molina-Vega

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1 Jean-Jacques Rousseau By: Julissa Molina-Vega

2 Biography Birth: June 28, 1712 in Geneva, Switzerland Death: July 2, 1778 Ermenonville, France Baptized in the Cathedral: July 4, 1712 He was a philosopher, writer and composer of the 18th century. He influenced the Enlightenment in France and Europe and the overall development of modern political and educational thought through his political philosophy. He wrote seven operas and other forms of music.

3 Some of his works Emile - Deals on the education of the whole person for citizenship Julie - Importance to the development of pre-romanticism Confessions- Initiated modern autobiography Reveries of a Solitary Walker - Focused on subjectivity and introspection Discourse on Inequality & The Social Contract - Formed modern political and social thought

4 Childhood Rosseau loved to read and he started reading escapists stories that affected his life as well as the collection of ancient and modern classics. His mother died shortly after giving birth to him After being left by his father, he was raised by an aunt and uncle. He went aboard for two years with a Calvinist minister. During his years there he felt a connection with the religious services and even dreamed of becoming a Protestant minister. He seeked help from a Roman Catholic priest after running away who introduced him to Francoise-Louise de Warens, his future love of his life.

5 Adulthood He worked as everything including a servant, footman, assistant, secretary, and tutor in Italy and France. He was introduced to the world of letters, ideas, and music by de Warens and members of the Catholic clergy. He began his interest in the study of philosophy, mathematics, and music. In 1742, he tried to present a new system of numbered musical notation that he believed would make him rich, but his proposition was rejected. In his return to Paris, he had a son and more children with Therese Levasseur. He persuaded her to give up their children to an orphanage because of honor, and he didn't have enough money, but in reality he didn t want to raise his children who wouldn t get the best education growing up in that society. He started a romantic attachment with Sophie d Houdetot and she inspired him to write his novel Julie which was published in 1761 with immense success.

6 Continued.. Rousseau lived at Motiers reading, writing, and meeting visitors. He was denounced publicly as the Antichrist for some of his writings. He was advised to leave town and decided to move to a tiny island, but was later asked to leave and he went to England. If he didn t do so he was going to be put in jail. He was involved in a quarrel with Hume after a scandal with Rousseau's mail. Rousseau denounced him after Hume had implied that Rousseau was losing his mental balance. He was accused of destroying a theatre at Geneva by Voltaire. By 1767, Rousseau as developing feelings of paranoia anxiety, and of planning something against himself. He started to regret leaving his children. He died of cerebral bleeding which lead to an apoplectic stroke. It was falsely said that he committed suicide because he was insane by then. He wasn t right in his mind, but he died from a stroke. He was buried on the Ile des Peupliers on July

7 Influenced: & Influenced By: Maximilien Robespierre Jacques Derrida Maria Montessori Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Louis Althusser David Hume Johann Gottlieb Fichte Immanuel Kant Voltaire John Locke Montesquieu Thomas Hobbes Denis Diderot Plato Rene Descartes Aristotle

8 Discourse on the Arts and Sciences & The Social Contract What was his argument? He argued that the advancement of art and science had not been beneficial to mankind, but the progress of knowledge had just made governments more powerful, and corrupt. What was his conclusion? Material progress undermines sincere friendship, while being replaced with jealousy, fear, power, and suspicious. What did it describe? The relationship of men with society He described the state of nature as a condition without law or morality It talked about the agreement among men to set the conditions in joining together and forming a society For example he viewed that men were frequently in competition with each other but they also dependent on each other which set a pressure between their survival or their freedom

9 Private property He was one of the first writers to attack the institution of private property and is considered a modern socialism and communism. Property made law and government necessary as a means to protect the property which was another step into inequality. This referred to the rich as they were the ones who had possession while the poor didn't. He believed society made people hate each other As society advanced, divisions of labor and private property required people to adopt institutions of law which was the opposite of what he believed was the best for people. What did he question? The assumption that the will of the majority is always correct. He argued that the government should secure freedom, equality, and justice for all within the states regardless of the will of the majority. He didn t support the idea of majority rules or majority is always right

10 Political philosophy What did he believe? Politics and morality should not be separated Morality is something separate from an individual happiness People should be loyal to the good of all and not try to oppress one another. He argued that the power to make laws should be in the hands of the people. However, he knew the government enforced the general will and the power to make laws was ideally decided by democracy. He opposed the idea of making law through a representative assembly. His view was that one shouldn't see themselves as the center of the universe, but rather on the outside with everyone realizing we all have a common center, rights and values One principle of Rousseau was freedom and the states are meant to preserve. He emphasized that the general will existed to protect individuals against the majority, but people shouldn t sacrifice or let someone manipulate them. He believed people were giving up their natural rights in return for civil rights and he didn't think that was the correct way of doing it.

11 Education He didn t give much important to book reading, but instead recommended that a child s emotions should be educated before his reason. Main emphasis? To learn by one s experience He wanted to emphasize the development of one s character and moral sense so they can learn to control themselves and remain virtuous during unnatural and corrupt society in which we all live Rousseau's description of a child: children are guided by emotions and impulses reasons start to develop to adult - reasons develop and life experiences have taught that person He believed someone learns through the rights and wrongs of their actions and the consequences of their actions rather than the physical punishments and teachings of experiences

12 Ideas What did he want to accomplish? He wanted to get a hold of both emotional and passionate side of man which had not been included in previous philosophical thinking In his writing he said man were essentially good in the state of nature and that they are corrupted and made unhappy by their experiences in society. He saw society as corrupt and it resulted in the unhappiness of all. He believed men would be wise, free and good in the state of nature, but it was corrupted by the limitations of civilization. He believed society was united by a general will which was a conflict because an individual had a single will for themselves, but a society had multiple people with their wills which caused conflicts between the separate wills and the individuals. He believed there were two kinds of inequalities; natural and artificial (differences in strength, intelligence,etc & the the conventions that govern societies)

13 Religion & Laws He affirmed the necessity of religion He believed the presence of God was good because God is good. He wrote that freedom of discussion in the religious matter is more religious than attempting to force the belief of any religion. He believed all religions are equally worthy and therefore should conform to the religion they were raised with since birth. Actual law- It simply protects the states and its affairs True law - It is made by the people in their capacity as sovereign and obeyed by the people in their own individual capacities. These laws can not be unjust or corrupt because they are made by the people and for the benefit of the people.

14 Recap of his Ideas 1. Society vs. human nature 2. Harmful effects of modern civilization 3. Political inequality 4. Developing a method of education 5. Politics and government control affects people 6. Humans should act for the good of all and not just oneself 7. The advancement of arts and sciences were not beneficial

15 Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. One man thinks himself the master of others, but remains more of a slave than they.

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