Jean Jacques Rousseau

France
28 Jun 1712 // 2 Jul 1778
Philosopher / Writer

Texts



This is Mine (1)

The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying «This is mine», and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many c...
Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

The Effect of Habit on Education (2)

It is in fact easy to see that many of the differences which distinguish men are merely the effect of habit and the different methods of life men adopt in society. Thus a robust or delicate constitut...
Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Virtue and Vice are Moral Concepts (3)

It appears, at first view, that men in a state of nature, having no moral relations or determinate obligations one with another, could not be either good or bad, virtuous or vicious; unless we take t...
Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Compassion is the Ultimate Justice (4)

Compassion is a natural feeling, which, by moderating the violence of love of self in each individual, contributes to the preservation of the whole species. It is this compassion that hurries us with...
Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Knowledge and Passion (5)

Whatever moralists may hold, the human understanding is greatly indebted to the passions, which, it is universally allowed, are also much indebted to the understanding. It is by the activity of the p...
Discourse on the Origin of Inequality


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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays