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45 Excellent Jean-Jacques Rousseau Quotes

Last updated on Jun 27th, 2020

45 Excellent Jean-Jacques Rousseau Quotes

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (born June 28, 1712, Geneva, Switzerland – died July 2, 1778, Ermenonville, France) was a Swiss-born philosopher, writer, political theorist, and composer. Known as one of the most influential thinkers of the Enlightenment, Rousseau’s work inspired certain aspects of the French Revolution and the Romantic generation.

His most significant works include Discourse on the Sciences and Arts (1750), Discourse on Inequality (1755), Julie, or the New Heloise (1761), Emile, or On Education (1762), The Social Contract (1762), and Confessions (1782).

Rousseau’s philosophy greatly influenced the development of modern political, economic, educational thought, and many later thinkers.

1
He who is slowest to make a promise is always most faithful at keeping it.Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
2
It is too difficult to think nobly when one only thinks for a living.The Second Part. Book Nine, Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1782)
3
So long as chastity is preserved, it is respected; it is despised only after having been lost. Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
4
Nature never deceives us. It is always we who deceive ourselves.Book III, Emile, or On Education (1762)
Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right Quotes)
5
Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains.Book I. Chapter I. Subject of the First Book, The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (1762)
6
Habit accustoms us to everything. What we see too much, we no longer imagine; and it is only imagination which makes us feel the ills of others.Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
7
In a well-governed State there are few punishments, not because many pardons are granted, but because there are few criminals; the multitude of crimes insures impunity when the State is decaying.Book II. Chapter V. The Right of Life and Death, The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (1762)
8
Conscience is the voice of the soul; the passions are the voice of the body.Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
9
You are lost, if you forget that the fruits of the earth belong equally to us all, and the earth itself to nobody!Discourse on Inequality (1755)
Every man being born free and master of himself, no one can, under any pretext whatsoever, enslave him without his assent. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right Quotes)
10
Every man being born free and master of himself, no one can, under any pretext whatsoever, enslave him without his assent.Book IV. Chapter II. Voting, The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (1762)
11
Slaves lose everything in their chains, even the desire to escape from them.Book I. Chapter II. Primitive Societies, The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (1762)
12
Whoever blushes is already guilty. True innocence is ashamed of nothing.Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
13
Money is the seed of money, and the first gold crown is sometimes harder to acquire than the second million.Discourse on Political Economy (1755)
14
The happiest is he who suffers the least pain; the unhappiest is he who feels the least pleasure.Book II, Emile, or On Education (1762)
Money in one's possession is the instrument of liberty; money one pursues is the symbol of servitude. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau Quotes)
15
Money in one’s possession is the instrument of liberty; money one pursues is the symbol of servitude.The First Part. Book One, Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1782)
16
We are born weak, we need strength; we are born totally unprovided, we need aid; we are born stupid, we need judgment. Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given us by education.Book I, Emile, or On Education (1762)
17
Every man has a right to risk his own life in order to preserve it.Book II. Chapter V. The Right of Life and Death, The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (1762)
18
Amour-propre produces more libertines than love does.Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
19
It is a mania common to philosophers of all eras to deny what is, and to explain what is not.Part Six. Letter XI. From Monsieur de Wolmar, Julie, or the New Heloise (1761)
Luxury is either the result of wealth or makes it necessary; luxury corrupts simultaneously the rich and the poor, the former by ownership, the latter by coveting. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right Quotes)
20
Luxury is either the result of wealth or makes it necessary; luxury corrupts simultaneously the rich and the poor, the former by ownership, the latter by coveting.Book III. Chapter IV. Democracy, The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (1762)
21
Man says what he knows; woman says what pleases. He needs knowledge to speak; she needs taste.Book V, Emile, or On Education (1762)
22
No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.Book I. Chapter IV. Slavery, The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (1762)
23
All passions are good when one remains their master; all are bad when one lets oneself be subjected to them.Book V, Emile, or On Education (1762)
24
Always asking others what we are and never daring to ask it of ourselves.Discourse on Inequality (1755)
People who know little speak a great deal, and people who know a great deal speak little. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Emile, or On Education Quotes)
25
People who know little speak a great deal, and people who know a great deal speak little.Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
26
Men in general are not this or that, they are what they are made to be.Part Six. Letter XI. From Monsieur de Wolmar, Julie, or the New Heloise (1761)
27
The sole folly of which one cannot disabuse a man who is not mad is vanity.Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
28
As to wealth, no citizen should be rich enough to be able to buy another, and none poor enough to be forced to sell himself.Book II. Chapter XI. The Different Systems of Legislation, The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (1762)
29
Definitions could be good if words were not used to make them.Book II, Emile, or On Education (1762)
Gratitude is indeed a duty which we are bound to pay, but which benefactors cannot exact. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on Inequality Quotes)
30
Gratitude is indeed a duty which we are bound to pay, but which benefactors cannot exact.Discourse on Inequality (1755)
31
The man who has lived the most is not he who has counted the most years but he who has most felt life.Book I, Emile, or On Education (1762)
32
The majority of nations, as well as of men, are tractable only in their youth; they become incorrigible as they grow old.Book II. Chapter VIII. The People, The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (1762)
33
As soon as people are accustomed to say words without understanding them, it is easy to make them say whatever one wants. Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
34
I hate books. They only teach one to talk about what one does not know.Book III, Emile, or On Education (1762)
Freedom is found in no form of government; it is in the heart of the free man. He takes it with him everywhere. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Emile, or On Education Quotes)
35
Freedom is found in no form of government; it is in the heart of the free man. He takes it with him everywhere.Book V, Emile, or On Education (1762)
36
Remorse sleeps while fate is kind but grows sharp in adversity.The First Part. Book Two, Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1782)
37
One cannot teach children the danger of lying to men without being aware of the greater danger, on the part of men, of lying to children. A single proved lie told by the master to the child would ruin forever the whole fruit of the education.Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
38
Laws are always useful to those who possess and injurious to those that have nothing; whence it follows that the social state is advantageous to men only so far as they all have something, and none of them has too much.Book I. Chapter IX. Real Estate, The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (1762)
39
One pities in others only those ills from which one does not feel oneself exempt.Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
The only thing we do not know is how to be ignorant of what we cannot know. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Emile, or On Education Quotes)
40
The only thing we do not know is how to be ignorant of what we cannot know.Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
41
I have never believed that man’s freedom consisted in doing what he wants, but rather in never doing what he does not want to do.Sixth Walk, Reveries of the Solitary Walker (1782)
42
Although modesty is natural to the human species, naturally children have none. Modesty is born only with the knowledge of evil.Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
43
Our passions are the principal instruments of our preservation. It is therefore, an enterprise as vain as it is ridiculous to want to destroy them.Book IV, Emile, or On Education (1762)
44
What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?Book II, Emile, or On Education (1762)
The strongest man is never strong enough to be always master, unless he transforms his power into right, and obedience into duty. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right Quotes)
45
The strongest man is never strong enough to be always master, unless he transforms his power into right, and obedience into duty.Book I. Chapter III. The Right of the Strongest, The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right (1762)

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1
The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.No source
2
Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong.No source
3
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.No source
4
To endure is the first thing that a child ought to learn, and that which he will have the most need to know.No source