portrait of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Pastel on paper by Maurice Quentin de La Tour (1753)

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Quotes of the Day for 28 June 2004 – Jean Jacques Rousseau

Jean Jacques Rousseau was born at Geneva, Switzerland on this day in 1712. His mother died soon after, and his father abandoned him at age ten when he left town to avoid prosecution for a minor crime. He was raised in a variety of homes, one woman who took him in for a period later became one of his numerous lovers. He argued for the protection of children and their rights, but consigned all five of his illegitimate children to orphanages. He gained fame for his theories in education, but his own education ended at age twelve. He became one of the most important philosophers of the 18th century, but his works formed the intellectual basis for much of the French Revolution and I get the distinct impression he was neither good nor nice. It seems he is best taken in small, carefully selected, bits - like these.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.


The quotes:

Accent is the soul of language; it gives to it both feeling and truth.

Adversity is a great teacher, but this teacher makes us pay dearly for its instruction; and often the profit we derive, is not worth the price we paid.

Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.

The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.

To write a good love letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say, and finish without knowing what you have written.

Nature never deceives us; it is always we who deceive ourselves.
     - All from Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712 - 1778


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