PHIL 2027 Philosophy of Rousseau - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – PHIL 2027 Philosophy of Rousseau PowerPoint presentation | free to view - id: 5b62fa-YTUyO


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

PHIL 2027 Philosophy of Rousseau


PHIL 2027 Philosophy of Rousseau Introduction Who was Jean-Jacques Rousseau? (1712-1778) Born Geneva 1712 Son of a watchmaker No formal education (read Plutarch s ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:154
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 17
Provided by: alexandr58


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: PHIL 2027 Philosophy of Rousseau

PHIL 2027Philosophy of Rousseau
  • Introduction

Who was Jean-Jacques Rousseau? (1712-1778)
  • Born Geneva 1712
  • Son of a watchmaker
  • No formal education
  • (read Plutarchs Lives with his father)
  • Apprenticed to an engraver, but escaped
  • (theme of freedom)
  • Led a wandering life
  • (more freedom!)
  • until he arrived in Paris in 1741 (search for an

  • Worked as a diplomat, a tutor, secretary and all
    round in-house intellectual for the rich and
    famous (e.g. rich tax farmers)
  • Music
  • system of musical notation, in use to this day
    Dissertation sur la musique moderne (1743)
  • Chemistry
  • Institutions chymiques, set up lab with Dupin de
    Francueil, son of his patron, M. Dupin
  • Café life
  • Diderot, dAlembert (eds. of Encyclopédie) and
    other Enlightenment figures
  • Aceppted major Enlightenment ideas
  • progress through science, utility, Lockean
    sensationalism, and materialism.

DAlembert (l.) Diderot (r.)
Enlightenment Ideas
  • Nature as standard or guide for morals, law and
    society, but what is nature? A machine, a
    nurturing mother, or a set of impersonal physical
    forces apprehensible through mathematical laws?
    Philosophers differed.
  • Revival of ancient atomist idea that there is
    only matter in motion (Democritus, Lucretius)
  • Watchmaker God or no God at all (any political
    implications in absolute monarchy?)
  • Seek the truth (reason tears away the veil from
    truthsee frontispiece to Encyclopédie)
    Rousseaus motto to submit ones life to the
  • How to find truth? Via Descartes (innate
    ideas)increasingly rejected, via Locke (senses)
    and/or Francis Bacon (empiricism)?

Reason tears away the veil of Truth
(Encyclopédie, frontispiece)
The spirit of systemsystems of knowledge
Rousseaus works
Title Date Subject
Disc. Sci Arts 1750 Sci/arts correlate w/ moral decay
Village Soothsayer 1752 Opera in simple Italian style
DiscInequality 1755 The origins of inequality in society
Julie, or the New Heloise 1761 Novel extolling family values
Emile 1762 Pedagogical system
Social Contract 1762 Political reform
Confessions 1782 Autobiography
Rousseaus view of his works
  • referred to in the 2nd letter to Malesherbes
  • Everything that I was able to retain of these
    crowds of great truthshas been weakly scattered
    about in my three principal writings, namely that
    first discourse, the one on inequality, and the
    treatise on education, which three works are
    inseparable and together form the same whole

  • Rousseau saw ALL his works as forming one system,
    that could only be grasped by reading all of
    them, more than once (Dialogues, O.C. I, 932)
  • He saw his Confessions as a philosophical work
  • Political organization is fundamental
  • everything is rooted in politics andno people
    would be other thantheir government made them
    (Confs. Bk 9, 377).
  • Rousseau places freedom and equality at the
    center of his political teaching,
  • differs from Hobbes, and Locke.

Highlights, cont.
  • Rousseau took a political view of music
  • he chose the Italian style of opera over the
    French because he considered Italian a language
    most conducive to expressing feelings, and
    therefore a language of freedom.
  • He considered botany a democratic science,
  • permitting free movement, requiring few
    instruments and almost no money, versus
    chemistry, practiced by rich tax farmers (e.g.
    Lavoisier) who could afford expensive lab
    equipment. Anyone could botanize, while only the
    rich could do chemistry.
  • Italian was to music, what botany was to science.

Pedagogical ideas Emile
  • Teach the child about things, not signs (words)
    for things teach him a trademanual labor is
    closest to nature
  • Create situations in which the child of his own
    volition seeks new knowledge about nature
  • Dont teach him things he is not old enough to
    grasp, such as history or foreign languages
  • he needs only one book Robinson Crusoe
  • Since the more men know, the more they are
    deceived, the only means of avoiding error is
  • Moral knowledge is for the man, not the child.

Emile Religious aspect
  • Confession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar (Bk 4)
  • Espouses natural religion
  • Seems to reject both Protestant and Catholic
    teachings , as well as atheism
  • to which unprejudiced eyes does the sensible
    order not proclaim a supreme intelligence?

Later years
  • Rousseaus great works brought condemnations in
    Paris and Geneva as politically and theologically
  • 1762 flees to Switzerland, where he starts
    studying nature seriously, but is compelled to
    depart from Motiers by a mob, and from St.
    Peters Island by the canton of Berne
  • 1765 flees to England at invitation of David
    Hume, with whom he subsequently quarrels
  • 1767 returns quietly to France under an assumed
    name writes his 3 autobiographical worksConfs.,
    Dialogues, Reveries, copies music and studies
  • Spends last weeks botanizing dies 4 July 1778 at
    the estate of the marquis de Girardin at
    Ermenonville, Ile de France.
  • During the French Revolution he is re-interred
    with Voltaire in Paris.

Famous portrait of Rousseau
Island of Poplars, Ermenonville