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Quotations From JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU

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  • Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), French philosopher, social critic. The Social Contract, p. 49, trans. by Maurice Cranston, Pelican-Penguin, Baltimore (1968). Rousseau's picture of man's place in society.
  • I long remained a child, and I am still one in many respects.
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Confessions, bk. 4 (part I, 1782, part II, 1789).

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  • I only see clearly what I remember.
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Confessions, bk. 3 (part I, 1782, part II, 1789).

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  • There are two things to be considered with regard to any scheme. In the first place, "Is it good in itself?" In the second, "Can it be easily put into practise?"
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Emile, preface (1762).
  • I may be no better, but at least I am different.
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Confessions, preamble (part I, 1782, part II, 1789).
  • 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.
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Confessions, preamble (part I, 1782, part II, 1789).

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  • Although modesty is natural to man, it is not natural to children. Modesty only begins with the knowledge of evil.
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Emile, bk. 4 (1762).

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  • The general will is always right.
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Social Contract (Du Contrat social), bk. 2, ch. 3 (1762).
  • 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 (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Emile, or Education (Emile, ou de l'Education), bk. 2 (1762).

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  • 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 (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Reveries of a Solitary Walker (RĂªveries du promeneur solitaire), First Promenade (1782).
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