Jeanjacques Rousseau

JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU was born in Geneva on June 28, 1712, and raised by his father after his mother died giving him life. The reproachment Rousseau experienced at his father's hand produced feelings of guilt and inferiority that were to haunt him throughout his life. During his youth, Rousseau wandered throughout Europe from job to job. Having moved to Paris from the city of Lyon in 1742, Rousseau sought the intellectual life and soon became associated with Denis Diderot and the philosophes.

Rousseau's literary career began with his entry in an essay contest in 1749 on the subject of the relationship of science and the arts to morals. His winning essay, Discourses on Sciences and the Arts, soon became the foundation for his later work entitled the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1753). With its publication, he became a figure of some controversy in France. Ideological differences between his views and those of his Enlightenment contemporaries Read More chevron_right