Throughout his life, Rousseau suffered from severe emotional distress, and feelings of deep inferiority and guilt. Rousseau's actions and writings reflect his attempts to overcome this sense of inadequacy and to find a place in world that only seemed to reject him. His political philosophy influenced the development of the French Revolution, and his theories have had a great impact on education and literature.
Jean Jacques Rousseau was born in Geneva, Switzerland on June 28, 1712 and later died on July 2, 1778. He was the second of two sons born to Isaac and Suzanne Bernard Rousseau. Tragically, his mother died while giving birth, and along with this his father blamed him for her death, leaving Rousseau with unbearable guilt. As a boy, he read Plutarch's Lives and contemporary novels, but did not receive much formal schooling. At the age of thirteen Rousseau became and engraver's apprentice. In 1728, he ran away from Geneva saying that he was forced to endue cruel punishment from his master. Around the age of seventeen he was taken in by a priest that introduced him to Madame Louise de Warens, to whom he was sent for conversion and baptism into the Roman Catholic religion. However, she soon became his mistress in an on and off relationship that lasted until 1736 due to its increasing agony.
Rousseau was often in trouble for fighting and stealing. As a result of living this way, he fled to Paris in 1741 seeking fame. He composed an opera called Les Muses galantes, which led to a correspondence with Voltaire, Denis Diderot, and other French philosophers, some of whom were engaged in producing the Encyclopedia. Rousseau contributed several pieces on music to this project. But, it was not unt...
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...78, he returned to copying music to make a living. He also wrote many more books, one of which was Rousseau juge de Jean-Jacques, Dialogues. Also among those were the ten, classic, meditations of Reveries of the Solitary Walker. With these final works, Rousseau became know as one of the first "Romantic" writers.
After learning of Rousseau's philosophies, I agree with almost everything that he believes. When looking at the Social Contract, I believe he is one hundred percent correct with saying that people have a part in making the general will and should not let private or personal interest get in the way. Now when it comes to his views on education, I have to slightly disagree with him. I don't believe children should be left to entirely teach themselves. They need supervision from the adults that have been through life and that have knowledge to pass on.
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