Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Francophone Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century. His political philosophy influenced the Enlightenment in France and across Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the overall development of modern political and educational thought.

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Days of absence, sad and dreary, Clothed in sorrow’s dark array, – Days of absence, I am weary; She I love is far away.

I hate books, they only teach us to talk about things we know nothing about.

Heroes are not known by the loftiness of their carriage, the greatest braggarts are generally the merest cowards.

Do I dare set forth here the most important, the most useful rule of all education? It is not to save time, but to squander it.

Force does not constitute right... obedience is due only to legitimate powers.

Although modesty is natural to man, it is not natural to children. Modesty only begins with the knowledge of evil.

Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet.

Money is the seed of money, and the first guinea is sometimes more difficult to acquire than the second million.

Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect.

How many famous and high-spirited heroes have lived a day too long?

O love, if I regret the age when one savors you, it is not for the hour of pleasure, but for the one that follows it.

It is a mania shared by philosophers of all ages to deny what exists and to explain what does not exist.

The training of children is a profession where we must know how to waste time in order to save it.

I have resolved on an enterprise that has no precedent and will have no imitator. I want to set before my fellow human beings a man in every way true to nature, and that man will be myself.

We are born so to speak twice over, born into existence and born into life, born a human being and born a man.

I long remained a child and I am still one in many respects.

We pity in others only the those evils which we ourselves have experienced.

Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.

God made me and broke the mold.

We are born weak we need strength, helpless we need aid, foolish we need reason. All that we lack at birth all that we need when we come to man's estate is the gift of education.

When something an affliction happens to you you either let it defeat you or you defeat it.

Whoever blushes is already guilty, true innocence is ashamed of nothing.

I have always said and felt that true enjoyment can not be described.

People who know little are usually great talkers while men who know much say little.

Reading, solitude, idleness, a soft and sedentary life, intercourse with women, and young people, these are perilous paths for a young man and these lead him constantly into danger.

A feeble body weakens the mind.

Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong.

Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to preserve it. Has it ever been said that a man who throws himself out the window to escape from a fire is guilty of suicide?

Every man has a right to risk his own life for the preservation of it.

Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.

All of my misfortunes come from having thought too well of my fellows.

The English are predisposed to pride, the French to vanity.

I only see clearly what I remember.

I may be no better but at least I am different.

Take from the philosopher the pleasure of being heard and his desire for knowledge ceases.

Our greatest evils flow from ourselves.

To endure is the first thing that a child ought to learn and that which he will have the most need to know.

Virtue is a state of war and to live in it we have always to combat with ourselves.

The person who has lived the most is not the one with the most years but the one with the richest experiences.

Our will is always for our own good but we do not always see what that is.

Take the course opposite to custom and you will almost always do well.

We do not know what is really good or bad fortune.

Nature never deceives us, it is we who deceive ourselves.

Plant and your spouse plants with you, weed and you weed alone.

The English think they are free. They are free only during the election of members of parliament.

Man was born free and he is everywhere in chains.

Remorse sleeps during prosperity but awakes bitter consciousness during adversity.

Falsehood has an infinity of combinations but truth has only one mode of being.

Religious persecutors are not believers they are rascals.

Happiness: a good bank account a good cook and a good digestion.

It is unnatural for a majority to rule for a majority can seldom be organized and united for specific action and a minority can.

No true believer could be intolerant or a persecutor. If I were a magistrate and the law carried the death penalty against atheists I would begin by sending to the stake whoever denounced another.

Fame is but the breath of people and that often unwholesome.

The body politic as well as the human body begins to die as soon as it is born and carries itself the causes of its destruction.

Free people remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty but it is never recovered if it is once lost.

The world of reality has its limits, the world of imagination is boundless.

Ordinary readers forgive my paradoxes: one must make them when one reflects, and whatever you may say I prefer being a man with paradoxes than a man with prejudices.

Base souls have no faith in great individuals.

However great a man's natural talent may be the act of writing cannot be learned all at once.

The first step towards vice is to shroud innocent actions in mystery and whoever likes to conceal something sooner or later has reason to conceal it.

It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.

We should not teach children the sciences, but give them a taste for them.

Those that are most slow in making a promise are the most faithful in the performance of it.

You forget that the fruits belong to all and that the land belongs to no one.

Our affections as well as our bodies are in perpetual flux.

No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?

Most nations as well as people are impossible only in their youth, they become incorrigible as they grow older.

Childhood is the sleep of reason.

I undertake the same project as Montaigne but with an aim contrary to his own: for he wrote his Essays only for others and I write my reveries only for myself.