Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Born: June 28, 1712
  • Died: July 2, 1778
  • Nationality: French
  • Profession: Philosopher









Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer and composer. Born in Geneva, his political philosophy influenced the progress of the Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political and educational thought.

Quote Topics Cited
It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Money is the seed of money, and the first guinea is sometimes more difficult to acquire than the second million. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs ;Money, Coins & Minting ;Capitalism
A feeble body weakens the mind.
Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death. Death
All of my misfortunes come from having thought too well of my fellows.
Although modesty is natural to man, it is not natural to children. Modesty only begins with the knowledge of evil. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Base souls have no faith in great individuals. Religion & God
Childhood is the sleep of reason.
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. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Time
Every man has a right to risk his own life for the preservation of it. Life
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? Life
Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being. Truth
Fame is but the breath of people, and that often unwholesome.
Force does not constitute right... obedience is due only to legitimate powers.
Free people, remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty, but it is never recovered if it is once lost. Freedom & Liberty
God made me and broke the mold. Religion & God
Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect.
Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook, and a good digestion. Happiness & Unhappiness
Heroes are not known by the loftiness of their carriage; the greatest braggarts are generally the merest cowards.
How many famous and high-spirited heroes have lived a day too long? Fame
However great a man's natural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at once.
I hate books; they only teach us to talk about things we know nothing about.
I have always said and felt that true enjoyment can not be described.
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. Nature
I long remained a child, and I am still one in many respects.
I may be no better, but at least I am different.
I only see clearly what I remember.
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.
Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong.
It is a mania shared by philosophers of all ages to deny what exists and to explain what does not exist.
It is unnatural for a majority to rule, for a majority can seldom be organized and united for specific action, and a minority can.
Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.
Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.
Most nations, as well as people are impossible only in their youth; they become incorrigible as they grow older.
Nature never deceives us; it is we who deceive ourselves. Nature
No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.
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. Death
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. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
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.
Our affections as well as our bodies are in perpetual flux.
Our greatest evils flow from ourselves.
Our will is always for our own good, but we do not always see what that is.
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. Patience
People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.
Plant and your spouse plants with you; weed and you weed alone.
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. Life ;Women
Religious persecutors are not believers, they are rascals.
Remorse sleeps during prosperity but awakes bitter consciousness during adversity.
Take from the philosopher the pleasure of being heard and his desire for knowledge ceases. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Take the course opposite to custom and you will almost always do well.
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.
The English are predisposed to pride, the French to vanity.
The English think they are free. They are free only during the election of members of parliament.
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.
The person who has lived the most is not the one with the most years but the one with the richest experiences.
The training of children is a profession, where we must know how to waste time in order to save it. Time
The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.
Those that are most slow in making a promise are the most faithful in the performance of it.
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. War & Peace
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. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
We are born, so to speak, twice over; born into existence, and born into life; born a human being, and born a man. Life
We do not know what is really good or bad fortune.
We pity in others only the those evils which we ourselves have experienced.
We should not teach children the sciences; but give them a taste for them.
What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
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.
You forget that the fruits belong to all and that the land belongs to no one.