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Jean Jacques Rousseau

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Meg Scott

on 24 September 2012

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Transcript of Jean Jacques Rousseau

"Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains"
-Jacques Rousseau Meg Scott & Samuel Song Jean-Jacques Rousseau Who Is Rousseau? Jacques Rousseau is a Swiss philosopher who mainly settled in England and France during the 18th century. He was mostly concerned with the moral reform of society and introduced his own concept of the Social Contract so that society can be ran more smoothly. QUICK FACTS
Full Name: Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Born: June 28, 1712 in Geneva, Switzerland
Deceased: July 3, 1778 (at age of 66)

Mother: Suzanne Bernard
Father: Isaac Rousseau Famous Piece of Writing From Rousseau The Social Contract

The Social Contract was a book published in 1762. It brought up an important principle; that is, we sacrifice our natural rights to the government so society can be ruled in an orderly and smooth manner. The concept of the “general will” was introduced; rather than looking at the wills of individuals, society is looking at the will and interests of everyone (it is not a combination of wills gathered from each person). However, this would only be valid if the people all had similar values and interests (sense of “melting pot”). Discourse on the Science and Arts This piece of writing, more so an essay, is also known as the "First Discourse". It was Rousseau's first major literature that gained a lot of attention from the public and started his fame at a young age. Rousseau entered an essay contest held by a university in France; he was given the essay topic of whether or not arts and sciences purified the morals of an individual and society. Rousseau quickly formed an opinion and said that arts and sciences did not indeed restore a person's goodness as well as the nation's. We are born with natural rights, yet our rights are sacrificed to the general will and we become chained and restricted from individual benefits. "No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.”
-Jacques Rousseau Everyone in society is equal; there aren't any class systems. All the rights and opportunities are given to all. The government are the only ones that controls for the benefit of the people.

Rousseau would be for capital punishment. He is a utilitarian; any act that benefits society positively would be acknowledged and understandable by him. Belongs to the positive school of law

Laws should be generalized and apply to everyone – idea of Rule of Law.

Believed humans are innocent and good until civilization corrupts them.

People who see the benefit of cooperation will then begin to give up or bend their natural rights to the “general will” of society.

To Rousseau, freedom is following the rules of the "general will" – not something that one pleases to do.

Rousseau is supportive for direct democracy, which is when citizens can voice their opinion, thoughts, and views on how the country should be ruled.

The previous "Social Contract" did not work; people were being oppressed. Rousseau created a new, genuine system where everyone benefits and no one is put through hardships. Basic Belief on Laws and Changes to the Law Quote #1 Explanation of Quote Quote #2 Explanation of Quote Rousseau's Beliefs on Current Laws Civil Disobedience Rousseau would support civil disobedience and people enacting for positive, reasonable changes to the law - as long as it is beneficial for everyone. Justice Justice needs to be served. Laws need to be generalized and apply to everyone in society according to Rousseau (like the Rule of Law). Capital Punishment References Bertram, Christopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Stanford Encyclopedia ofPhilosophy (Spring 2011 Edition),
Edward N. Zalta (ed.), <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2011/entries/rouseau/>.

Brainyquote. Jean-Jacques Rousseau Quotes. 2012. <http://www.brainyquote.com/

Law, Steven. Philosophy. New York, DK Publishing, 2007.

Oliver, Martyn. History of Philosophy. Great Britain, Octopus Publishing Group
Limited, 1997.
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