What Was Jean-Jacques Rousseau Famous For?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a philosopher and composer who was famous for producing political philosophies that influenced the French revolution. Many of his political philosophers also influence modern sociological and educational practices.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born in Geneva, but later moved to Paris where he began writing for a radical magazine named "Encyclopédie." During his early years in Paris, he attempted to work as a composer, but much of his work was rejected.

Rousseau is better known for his political philosophical works, which often concerned the freedom of men in French society. In his first book, "Discours sur les sciences et les arts," he questions whether the advancement of science and art has helped mankind to progress, or whether it has led to its decline.

In his second book, "Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes," Rousseau claims that all men are savage on the inside, but that they behave in accordance with society's expectations. Such savagery only becomes apparent during acts of war and other atrocities.

One of Rousseau's most influential political quotes states "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains." Such quotes led to Rousseau becoming an influential Republican, whose philosophies were used to influence the French Revolution. Individuals like Robespierre took Rousseau's ideas and developed radicalized versions during the Reign of Terror.