Jean-Jacques Rousseau

(1712-1779 / Geneva)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau Quotes

  • ''Reading, solitude, idleness, a soft and sedentary life, intercourse with women and young people, these are perilous paths for a young man, and these lead him constantly into danger.''
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Emile, bk. 4 (1762).
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  • ''Ordinary readers, forgive my paradoxes: one must make them when one reflects; and whatever you may say, I prefer being a man with paradoxes than a man with prejudices.''
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Emile, or Education (Emile, ou de l'Education), bk. 2 (1762).
  • ''Everything that comes out of the hands of the Creator of all things is good, everything degenerates in the hands of man.''
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Emile, or Education (Emile, ou de l'Education), bk. 1 (1762). First sentence.
  • ''I hate books; they only teach us to talk about what we don't know.''
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Emile, or Education (Emile, ou de l'Education), bk. 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).
  • ''We can never put ourselves in the shoes of children; we cannot fathom their thoughts, we lend them ours; and always following our own reasoning, we stuff their heads with extravagance and error.''
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Emile, or Education (Emile, ou de l'Education), bk. 3 (1762).
  • ''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 (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. La Nouvelle Héloïse, pt. 4, letter 6 (1791).
  • ''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 (Rêveries du promeneur solitaire), First Promenade (1782).
  • ''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).
  • ''No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.''
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Swiss-born French philosopher, political theorist. Social Contract (Du Contrat social), bk. 1, ch. 4 (1762).

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