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Rousseau Lectures

Rousseau Lectures - Jean Jacques Rousseau Confessions Book...

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Jean Jacques Rousseau Confessions Book I. January 25, 2008 Rousseau Born 1712. Died 1788. Born in Geneva, Switzerland. After a tumultuous early life, Rousseau becomes an successful and well known intellectual by winning an essay contest in 1750. Early in his intellectual career Rousseau is associated with the Encyclopedists. Diderot. Rousseau This group of intellectuals embody Enlightenment ideals. Independent use of reason by humans. Freedom from superstition and traditional religion. Constant progress toward a better future. Rousseau However, Rousseau breaks with these thinkers. He continues to maintain an antagonistic stance toward religion. But he rejects the idea that human reason and civilization leads to progress. Instead he advocates a return to nature and an exaltation of human feeling over thought. Rousseau Rousseau wrote many different works. Philosophical discourses. Discourse on the Arts and Sciences. Social Contract. Lay out his positions. Novels. Emile, Julie. Illustrate his positions with narratives. Shock people into having the insights required to reject civilization and return to nature. Autobiography. Confessions. Reveries of Solitary Walker. Rousseau: Judge of Jean-Jacques. Show his own life a moral exemplar. Rousseau His intellectual friends reject him. He also makes a number of social faux pas that alienate him from the high society circles that he was beginning to move in. Including an affair with a prominent noble woman. Rousseau. Ultimately his books are condemned and burned. He is force to flee France. He spends time in Switzerland and Berlin. He spends a year in England with David Hume. Everywhere the same thing happens. Rousseau
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He finds that the local authorities reject his works and force him to leave. He finally settles in the south of France to live a quiet life. While it is a matter of history that his works were condemned and he was forced to move from place to place. It is not clear that the kind of organized conspiracy against him actually existed. He appears to become quite paranoid by the end of his life. Confessions. Augustine: Confession before God, repentance of sins, conversion of the reader. Rousseau: Confession before the public for judgment about his life. To present a moral exemplar. To express his own nature. Confessions. Rousseau as a moral exemplar. Rousseau holds up his own life to show how society can corrupt an essentially good soul. He wants to show how to begin to return to nature to live a better life. Feelings. For Rousseau feelings are more important than thoughts. Feelings represent the inner sentiments that nature has endowed us with.
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