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Jean Jacques Rousseau is among the most celebrated geniuses of all time. He was an author, philosopher, political theorist as well as a music composer from the Republic of Geneva, by then. This French philosopher was well-traveled and outspoken. Rousseau was an avid reader and a writer who drew inspiration from outside his motherland as well as nature which gave him outstanding qualities and great wisdom which were very paramount in his view about life.
Jean Jacques Rousseau’s work on political philosophy ranks as the biggest Influence on the insight That embraced the cultural revolution in Europe’s mainland. Rousseau is inspirational for his “social contract theory”, which gives a rational on how an inclusive government should be formed and preserved. He was also a humanitarian and wrote a book on ” Discourse on Inequality”. His book “Emile” , which gives details on how to educate a child among others.
Rousseau was a forceful orator who articulated his thoughts logically and established himself as the most influential voice during the era of the French Revolution. His thoughts were very influential during the rebellion That occurred in 1789. The following essay explores some of the greatest quotes by this genius which has maintained relevance up-to-date
Jean Jacques Rousseau Quotes
1. “People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little”–Jean Jacques Rousseau
2. “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless”–Jean Jacques Rousseau
3. “I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery.”–Jean Jacques Rousseau
4. “People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.”–Jean Jacques Rousseau
5. “People in their natural state are basically good. But this natural innocence, however, is corrupted by the evils of society.”–Jean Jacques Rousseau
6. “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” –Jean Jacques Rousseau
7. “I am not made like any of those I have seen. I venture to believe That I am not made like any of those who are in existence. If I am not better, at least I am different.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
8. “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” Jean Jacques Rousseau
9. “I would rather be a man of paradoxes than a man of prejudices.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
10. “To be sane in a world of madman is in itself madness.”– Jean Jacques 11“Whoever blushes is already guilty; true innocence is ashamed of nothing.” –Jean Jacques Rousseau
11. “ Once you choose simplicity, life changes.”–Jean Jacques Rousseau
12. “I am not made like any of those I have seen. I venture to believe That I am not made like any of those who are in existence. If I am not better, at least I am different.”–Jean Jacques Rousseau
13. “The first person who, having enclosed a plot of land, took it into his head to say this is mine and found people simple enough to believe him was the true founder of civil society. What crimes, wars, murders, what miseries and horrors would the human race have been spared, had some one pulled up the stakes or filled in the ditch and cried out to his fellow men: “Do not listen to this imposter. You are lost if you forget That the fruits of the earth belong to all and the earth to no one.” — Jean Jacques Rousseau
14. “There are times when I am so unlike myself That I might be taken for someone else of an entirely opposite character.”—Jean Jacques Rousseau
15. “Refiners had every incentive to get back up because there was a lot of money to be made.” Jean Jacques Rousseau
16. “We are born, so to speak, twice over; born into existence, and born into life; born a human being, and born a man.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
17. “There are always four sides to a story: your side, their side, the truth and what really happened.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
18. “What wisdom can you find That is greater than kindness.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
19. “It is a mania shared by philosophers of all ages to deny what exists and to explain what does not exist.”—Jean Jacques Rousseau
20. “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.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
21. “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.” –Jean Jacques Rousseau
22. “To write a good love letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say, and to finish without knowing what you have written.” Jean Jacques Rousseau
23. “They say That Caliph Omar, when consulted about what had to be done with the library of Alexandria, answered as follows: ‘If the books of this library contain matters opposed to the Koran, they are bad and must be burned. If they contain only the doctrine of the Koran, burn them anyway, for they are superfluous.’ Our learned men have cited this reasoning as the height of absurdity. However, suppose Gregory the Great was there instead of Omar and the Gospel instead of the Koran. The library would still have been burned, and That might well have been the finest moment in the life of this illustrious pontiff.” –Jean Jacques Rousseau
24. “Everything is good as it comes from the hands of the Maker of the world, but degenerates once it gets into the hands of man.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
25. “To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, to surrender the rights of humanity and even its duties.” — Jean Jacques Rousseau
26. “…in respect of riches, no citizen shall ever be wealthy enough to buy another, and none poor enough to be forced to sell himself.” — Jean Jacques Rousseau
27. “I have never thought, for my part, That man’s freedom consists in his being able to do whatever he wills, but That he should not, by any human power, be forced to do what is against his will.” — Jean Jacques Rousseau
28. “Plants are shaped by cultivation and men by education. .. We are born weak, we need strength; we are born totally unprovided, we need aid; we are born stupid, we need judgment. Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given us by education.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
29. “The falsification of history has done more to impede human development than any one thing known to mankind.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
30. “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.” – Jean Jacques Rousseau
31. “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.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
32. “It is unnatural for a majority to rule, for a majority can seldom be organized and united for specific action, and a minority can.” — Jean Jacques Rousseau.
33. “To live is not to breathe but to act. It is to make use of our organs, our senses, our faculties, of all the parts of ourselves which give us the sentiment of our existence. The man who has lived the most is not he who has counted the most years but he who has most felt life.” — Jean Jacques Rousseau
34. “As soon as any man says of the affairs of the state “What does it matter to me?” the state may be given up for lost.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
35. “It is as if my heart and my brain did not belong to the same person. Feelings come quicker than lightning and fill my soul, but they bring me no illumination; they burn me and dazzle me.” – Jean Jacques Rousseau
36. “When a man dies he clutches in his hands only That which he has given away during his lifetime.” — Jean Jacques Rousseau
37. “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.” — Jean Jacques Rousseau
38. “We pity in others only those evils which we ourselves have experienced.” –Jean Jacques Rousseau
39. “Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to save it.”–Jean Jacques Rousseau
40. “Once you teach people to say what they do not understand, it is easy enough to get them to say anything you like.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
41. “In the strict sense of the term, a true democracy has never existed, and never will exist.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau.
42. “Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.”–Jean Jacques Rousseau
43. “There is, I feel, an age at which the individual man would wish to stop: you are about to inquire about the age at which you would have liked your whole species to stand still. Discontented with your present state, for reasons which threaten your unfortunate descendants with still greater discontent, you will perhaps wish it were in your power to go back; and this feeling should be a panegyric on your first ancestors, a criticism of your contemporaries, and a terror to the unfortunates who will come after you.” — Jean Jacques Rousseau.
44. “That man in the state of nature is both strong and dependent involves two contrary suppositions. man is weak when he is dependent, and is his own master before he comes to be strong. Hobbes did not reflect That the same cause, which prevents a savage from making use of his reason, as our jurists hold, prevents him also from abusing his faculties, as Hobbes himself allows: so That it may be justly said That savages are not bad merely because they do not know what it is to be good: for it is neither the development of the understanding nor the restraint of law That hinders them from doing ill; but the peacefulness of their passions, and their ignorance of vice: tanto plus in illis proficit vitiorum ignoratio, quam in his cognitio virtutis.”– Jean Jacques Rousseau
45. “As soon as any man says of the affairs of the state “What does it matter to me?” the state may be given up for lost.”–Jean Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau Video – Political Theory
This is a well produced educational video that is quite entertaining as well. It is a great way to greater context on the quotes above and understand the incredible legacy that Rousseau left for political philosophy.
In conclusion, Rousseau was a well-traveled and outspoken philosopher of his time whose quotes remain popular due to their great relevance to nature, education, state, and romantic affairs.
Jean Jacques Rousseau, being a great author was able to influence many people in Europe’s mainland to understand their rights and ensure their voices are heard by the government. With the above quotes, you will gain enough courage and bravely to stand with your opinion and in turn, live by being yourself.