Jean Jacques Rousseau Quotes

1 | 2 | 3

I long remained a child, and I am still one in many respects.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Confessions - Book IV, 1770)

Remorse sleeps during a prosperous period but wakes up in adversity.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Confessions - Book II, 1770)

I may be no better, but at least I am different.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Confessions, 1770)

A feeble body weakens the mind.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile - Book I, 1762)

Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook, and a good digestion.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

The issue is not to teach a child the sciences, but to give him the taste for loving them.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile, 1762)

Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Reveries of a Solitary Walker, 1776 - 1778)

It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Confessions - Book II, 1770)

Everything is good as it leaves the hands of the author of things, everything degenerates in the hands of man.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile - Book I, 1762)

When a man dies he clutches in his hands only that which he has given away during his lifetime.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Our passions are the chief means of self-preservation; to try to destroy them is therefore as absurd as it is useless.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile - Book IV, 1762)

Ordinary readers, forgive my paradoxes: one must make them when one reflects; and whatever you may say, I prefer being a man with paradoxes than a man with prejudices.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile - Book II, 1762)

It is a mania shared by philosophers of all ages to deny what exists and to explain what does not exist.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Julie, or the New Heloise, 1761)

The very right to vote imposes on me the duty to instruct myself in public affair, however little influence my voice may have in them.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract - Book III, 1762)

Why should we build our happiness on the opinions of others, when we can find it in our own hearts? 

Jean Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract, 1762)

To endure is the first thing that a child ought to learn, and that which he will have the most need to know.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile, 1762)

We are born, so to speak, twice over; born into existence, and born into life; born a human being, and born a man.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile - Book IV, 1762)

I think we cannot too strongly attack superstition, which is the disturber of society; nor too highly respect genuine religion, which is the support of it.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to preserve it. Has it ever been said that a man who throws himself out the window to escape from a fire is guilty of suicide?

Jean Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract - Book II, 1762)

Although modesty is natural to man, it is not natural to children. Modesty only begins with the knowledge of evil... Blushes are the sign of guilt; true innocence is ashamed of nothing.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile - Book IV, 1762)

Sophie is not beautiful, but in her company men forget beautiful women, and beautiful women are dissatisfied with themselves.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile - Book V, 1762)

There are two things to be considered with regard to any scheme. In the first place, "Is it good in itself?" In the second, "Can it be easily put into practise?

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile - Preface, 1762)

In the strict sense of the term, a true democracy has never existed, and never will exist. It is against natural order that the great number should govern and that the few should be governed.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract - Book IV, 1762)

We are born weak, we need strength; helpless, we need aid; foolish, we need reason. All that we lack at birth, all that we need when we come to man's estate, is the gift of education.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile - Book I, 1762)

O love, if I regret the age when one savors you, it is not for the hour of pleasure, but for the one that follows it.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Julie, or the New Heloise, 1761)

I have studied mankind and know my heart; I am not made like any one I have been acquainted with, perhaps like no one in existence; if not better, I at least claim originality, and whether Nature has acted rightly or wrongly in destroying the mold in which she cast me, can only be decided after I have been read.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Confessions - Book I, 1770)

We cannot teach children the danger of telling lies to men without realising, on the man's part, the danger of telling lies to children. A single untruth on the part of the master will destroy the results of his education.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile - Book IV, 1762)

Men, be kind to your fellow-men; this is your first duty, kind to every age and station, kind to all that is not foreign to humanity. What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile - Book II, 1762)

Whenever the last trumpet shall sound, I will present myself before the sovereign judge with this book in my hand, and loudly proclaim, thus have I acted; these were my thoughts; such was I.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Confessions - Book I, 1770)

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. It is thus by dint of seeing death and suffering that priests and doctors become pitiless.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile - Book IV, 1762)

1 | 2 | 3

Jean Jacques Rousseau Biography

Born: June 28, 1712
Died: July 2, 1778

Jean Jacques Rousseau, or also known simply as Rousseau, was a French-Genevan political philosopher and writer. His philosophy had an major influence on the French Revolution.

Top 10 Quotes

Notable Works

Discourse on the Arts and Sciences (1750)
Narcissus (1752)
Le Devin du Village
Discourse on Inequality (1754)
Emile: or, On Education (1762)
The Social Contract (1762)
Les Confessions
Essay on the Origin of Languages
Reveries of a Solitary Walker

Picture Quotes