Biografía De Jean Jacques Rousseau

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Born:June 28, 1712GenevaSwitzerland...(Show more)Died:July 2, mil setecientos setenta y ocho (aged 66)France...(Show more)Notable Works:“A Discourse Upon ns Origin y Foundation of the Inequality among Mankind”...(Show more)Subjects the Study:general will...(Show more)Role In:Enlightenment...(Show more)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote los philosophical treatises A Discourse on los Origins of Inequality (1755) y The sociedad Contract (1762); ns novels Julie; or, The nuevo Eloise (1761) and Émile; or, ~ above Education (1762); and the autobiographical Confessions (1782–1789), among other works.


Jean-Jacques Rousseau is renowned for reconceiving the sociedad contract as ns compact between ns individual y a collective “general will” aimed at the common good and reflected in ns laws that an idealistas state y for keeping that existing culture rests on un false social contract the perpetuates inequality y rule by los rich.


Jean-Jacques Rousseau, (born June 28, 1712, Geneva, Switzerland—died July 2, 1778, Ermenonville, France), Swiss-born philosopher, writer, and political philosopher whose treatises y novels inspired ns leaders of the French Revolution y the Romantic generation.

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Rousseau was the least scholastic of contemporary philosophers and in many ways was los most influential. His thought significant the fin of los European enlightenment (the “Age that Reason”). He propelled political and ethical reasoning into nuevo channels. His reforms revolutionized taste, first in music, then in the other arts. That had un profound affect on people’s way of life; he teach parents to take a nuevo interest in their children y to education them differently; he furthered the expression that emotion quite than polite restraint in friendship y love. He introduced the cult of religious sentiment among people who had discarded spiritual dogma. He opened people’s eyes to the beauties the nature, y he make liberty an object of almost universal aspiration.

Formative years

Rousseau’s mother passed away in childbirth, y he was brought up by his father, who taught him to believe that the city of his bear was a republic as splendid together Sparta or ancient Rome. Rousseau senior had an equally glorious picture of his own importance; delaware marrying above his modest station as uno watchmaker, he got into trouble with the civil authorities by brandishing ns sword the his upper-class pretentions triggered him come wear, y he had actually to leave Geneva to prevent imprisonment. Rousseau, the son, then live for six la edad as ns poor relation in his mom family, patronized and humiliated, till he, too, at the age the 16, fled representar Geneva to live the life of an adventurer y a roman Catholic convert in the kingdoms the Sardinia and France.

Rousseau was fortunate in finding in ns province that Savoy uno benefactor, los baroness ese Warens, who provided him with ns refuge in she home y employed him together her steward. She also furthered his education and learning to such uno degree that ns boy who had arrived on her doorstep as un stammering apprentice who had never to be to school developed into un philosopher, un scholar, and a musician.


Mme ese Warens, who hence transformed the adventurer into uno philosopher, was herself one adventuress—a Swiss transform to Catholicism who had stripped she husband of his money before fleeing come Savoy with los gardener’s ellos eran to collection herself up as a Catholic missionary specializing in ns conversion of joven male Protestants. She morals distressed Rousseau, even when he ended up being her lover. But she was a woman of taste, intelligence, y energy, who brought fuera de in Rousseau just the talents the were needed to conquer paris at a tiempo when Voltaire had actually made radical idea fashionable.

Rousseau reached paris when that was treinta and to be lucky enough to meet another young man desde the districts seeking literary fame in ns capital, Denis Diderot. The two soon came to be immensely effective as the centre the a grupo of intellectuals—or philosophes—who gathered round ns great French Encyclopédie, of which Diderot was appointed editor. The Encyclopédie was vital organ of radical y anticlerical opinion, y its contributors to be as much reforming y even iconoclastic pamphleteers together they were philosophers. Rousseau, los most initial of them every in his thinking y the many forceful y eloquent in his style of writing, was quickly also ns most conspicuous. He wrote musical as well together prose, and one of his operas, Le Devin a pesar de que village (1752; “The village Soothsayer”), attracted so much admiration representar the rey (Louis XV) y the court that he could have enjoyed an easy life as uno fashionable composer, however something in his Calvinist blood rubbish that type of worldly glory. Indeed, at the age of treinta y siete Rousseau had actually what he called an “illumination” when walking to Vincennes to visit Diderot, who had been imprisoned there because of his irreligious writings. In ns Confessions (1782–89), which he composed late in life, Rousseau claims that it pertained to him then in un “terrible flash” that modern progress had actually corrupted world instead of enhancing them. The went ~ above to create his very first important work, a prize essay for los Academy that Dijon licensed has been granted Discours sur apellido sciences et apellido arts (1750; A Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts), in which he argues that the history of humano life on earth has been uno history the decay.

That work-related is by cuales means Rousseau’s best piece of writing, but its centrar theme was to inform virtually everything rather he wrote. Throughout his life he maintained returning to ns thought that people are good by nature however have to be corrupted through society and civilization. That did not typical to suggest that society and civilization are inherently bad but rather that both had actually taken ns wrong direction and become more harmful as they became much more sophisticated. That idea in itself was not unfamiliar in Rousseau’s time. Many Roman Catholic writers, for example, deplored los direction that European society had taken since the Middle Ages. Lock shared los hostility toward progress that Rousseau had actually expressed. What they did no share to be his id that human being are normally good. It was, however, simply that id that Rousseau made ns cornerstone the his argument.

Rousseau might well have received ns inspiration for that belief representar Mme del Warens; because that although she had actually become uno communicant of los Roman Catholic Church, she retained—and transmitted to Rousseau—much of ns sentimental optimism about humano purity that she had actually herself soaked up as a child desde the mystical protestant Pietists who were she teachers in the canton of Bern. At every events, the opinión of humano goodness, together Rousseau developed it, set him apart from both conservatives and radicals. Even so, for number of years delaware the publishing of his first Discourse, the remained un close collaborator in Diderot’s basically progressive enterprise, the Encyclopédie, and an active contributor come its pages. His speciality there was music, y it was in this ball that he first established his influence as un reformer.

Controversy with Rameau

The arrival of an italian opera la empresa in parís in 1752 to execute works of opera buffa (comic opera) by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Alessandro Scarlatti, Leonardo Vinci, y other together composers suddenly divided los French music-loving windy into two excited camps, supporters of ns new italian opera y supporters of the traditional French opera. Ns philosophes of the Encyclopédie—Jean Le Rond d’Alembert, Diderot, and Paul-Henri Dietrich, barón d’Holbach amongst them—entered los fray together champions of italian music, yet Rousseau, who had actually arranged for the publication of Pergolesi’s música in Paris and who knew more about the subject than many Frenchmen delaware the month he had actually spent visiting the ópera houses that Venice during his time as secretary to ns French ambassador to los doge in 1743–44, emerged as the most-forceful y effective combatant. The was los only one to direct his fire squarely at the leading life exponent of French operatic music, Jean-Philippe Rameau.

Rousseau and Rameau should at that time have seemed unevenly matched in uno controversy around music. Rameau, currently in his 70th year, was no only un prolific and successful composer however was also, as the author of the celebrated Traité después l’harmonie (1722; Treatise top top Harmony) y other technological works, Europe’s leading musicologist. Rousseau, by contrast, was treinta years younger, a newcomer to music, with alguna professional training and only one successful opera to his credit. His plan for a new notation for musical had been rejected by the Academy of Sciences, and most of his música entries for Diderot’s Encyclopédie were as yet unpublished. Yet the dispute was not only musical but additionally philosophical, y Rameau was confronted with uno more-formidable devil than he had actually realized. Rousseau constructed his instance for the superiority of italian music over French on los principle that melody must have actually priority gastos generales harmony, conversely, Rameau based his on los assertion that harmony must have priority over melody. By pleading for melody, Rousseau presented what later happened recognized as uno characteristic idea of Romanticism, namely, that in arte the complimentary expression of the creative spirit is much more important than strict follow to officially rules and traditional procedures. Through pleading because that harmony, Rameau reaffirmed ns first rule of French Classicism, namely, that conformity to rationally intelligible rules is a necessary problem of art, ns aim of which is to impose order on the chaos of human experience.

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In music, Rousseau was uno liberator. He suggested for flexibility in music, and he pointed to the italian composers as models to it is in followed. In doing so he had much more success 보다 Rameau; he adjusted people’s attitudes. Christoph Willibald Gluck, who prospered Rameau as los most-important operatic composer in France, identified his debt to Rousseau’s teaching, y Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart based ns text because that his one-act operetta Bastien und Bastienne (Bastien y Bastienne) top top Rousseau’s Le Devin du village. European music had take away a nuevo direction. Yet Rousseau himself composed no more operas. Despite ns success of Le Devin a pesar de que village, or rather due to the fact that of its success, Rousseau feel that, as uno moralist that had decided to make uno break with worldly values, he might not allow himself to walk on working for los theatre. He made decision to devote his energies henceforth to literature y philosophy.