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Jean Jacques Rousseau.

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Jean Jacques Rousseau was a French philosopher, a representative of the French Enlightenment. He also was known as an educator and writer. He was born in the family of the watch-maker, raised by his father (his mother died when he was a little). He was sent to study engraving, but did not want to pursue this career, so at 16 he quit Geneva. For some time he was a vagabond, a traveling musician, a servant, family teacher, and notes copier. He did not receive a systematic education, but was able to study philosophy by himself. He wrote papers on musical aesthetics, composed operas, musical comedies and romances. In 1741 Rousseau came to Paris where he met D. Didro, than D'Alamber, and P. Golbach. Invited by Didro he took part in making "Encyclopedia, or Dictionary of the sciences, arts, and crafts" in 1751-1780 where he oversaw the music section. In 1750 he published his work that attracted public attention to his persona. It was titled "Discourses on the Sciences and Arts", where he proved that the development of the arts and sciences does not improve morals, but on the other hand, degrades them. ...read more.


To exist for human being is to feel. At the basis of everything is inherent sense of right, the concrete emotions are its echo. Person has mortal body and immortal soul. Rousseau was a proponent of deism: if god is incomprehensible on the logical level, this is still possible as a fact of the personal sensual experience. His religious worldview he described in "Emile" Rousseau is one of the theorists of concept of "social contract" according to which the society's appearance is interpreted as the act of delegation of individual rights to the political body. He established new literary tradition of sentimentalism and brought back to life the literary tradition of confessions. He gave developed phenomenological explanation of detachment: in the "The Reveries of the Solitary Walker" he gave very accurate account of psychology of loneliness. He has attracted public attention to the problem of psychology of emotion and had a profound effect on the existentialist philosophy and psychology. Rousseau gave his understanding of art. Art was understood by him to an aristocratic art, first of all. ...read more.


Rousseau is confident that such laws could not be unjust because it is inconceivable that any people would make unjust laws for itself. Rousseau was troubled by the fact that the majority of a people does not necessarily represent its most intelligent citizens. He agreed with Plato that most people are stupid. Thus the general will, while always morally sound, is sometimes mistaken. Rousseau suggests the people need a lawgiver-a great mind like Solon or Lycurgus or Calvin-to draw up a constitution and system of laws. He even suggests that such lawgivers need to claim divine inspiration in order to persuade the dim-witted multitude to accept and endorse the laws it is offered. In the remaining 10 years of his life Rousseau produced primarily autobiographical writings, mostly intended to justify himself against the accusations of his adversaries. Works consulted 1. Dent, H. A Rousseau dictionary. Oxford: Blackwell, 1992. 2. Life and Works of Rousseau. April 25, 2003. http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0860818.html 3. Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). April 25, 2003. http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/r/rousseau.htm 4. Swenson, James. On Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Stanford University Press, 1999 ...read more.

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