Intro to Ethics
July 29, 2011
Jean Jacques Rousseau
“Those that are most slow in making a promise are the most faithful in the performance of it.”
— Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean Jacques Rousseau, 1712-1778
“God makes all things good; man meddles with them and they become evil.”
— Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Historical Background and Mini-Biography
Rousseau was considered to be one of the most confounding organizers of theory; of all the philosophers of the 18th century. His impression on the progress of society during the Enlightenment period was done with great force. Geneva is the second largest city in Switzerland behind Zurich. This beautiful countryside prides itself as being one of the most beautiful and cultured cities in the world, combining the splendors of nature with a rich palette of historic and architectural settings. Jean Jacques Rousseau was born in Geneva, June the 28th of 1712, to proud parents, Isaac and Suzanne Rousseau. Suzanne died a few days after his birth due to complications. He was raised by his father, a simple clockmaker, for the first ten years of his life. His father Isaac read Greek and Roman Literature to him as a child. His only brother and sibling ran away from home when Rousseau was still but a young child. His father got into a fight with a French captain; afraid of being imprisoned, he left his young son with relatives, an aunt and uncle to raise him. They encouraged him to study in the village of Bosey with one of his cousins. In 1722 he became an apprentice of an engraver. As he mastered his trade, enjoying his work, he couldn’t see himself working with such a vicious and controlling boss (Routledge 367).
In 1728 Rousseau left Geneva, and when he reached the quaint little city called Annecy. This is where he met Louise de Warens, who was the most influential person to impact Rousseau into Catholicism. He would become romantic with her and that would last for a…

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