Jean Jacques Rousseau and His Philosophy

Jean Jacques Rousseau and His Philosophy

Jean Jacques Rousseau and His Philosophy

Jean Jacques Rousseau and His Philosophy

Excerpt

The immense literature upon Rousseau is not only a demonstration of the wide inierest that men have had in his ideas but also a proof of his place as one of the most influential figures of the past two centuries. We honor the men who solve the problems of human existence, but we give the highest praise to those who raise them. In this respect Rousseau was the first, in modern times, to state problem of civilization effectively. It was he who made men aware re of the ill effects of artificial culture, and the overrefinement, the wrongs, and injustice of civilization. His teachings revolutionized theories of government, methods of education, views of religion and the personal life, and inspired a new literary movement. He magnified the nature of the individual and his personality, and brought them into the center of interest. In this, as in the emphasis upon the feelings, on the equality of man, on human freedom, the cosmopolitan spirit, the interest in nature, the play upon sentiment, and the interpretation of morality and religion as matters of natural feeling, Rousseau was the master of the Romantic school.

The thinkers of the Enlightenment had glorified the sciences and the arts, civilization and progress, and had . . .

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