Jean Jacques Rousseau

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Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
One of France's most famous authors and philosophers, Rousseau was celebrated for his argument that civilization served both tocorrupt the natural goodness of man and to limit his freedom. Rousseau had no formal education and a rather rootless early life.In 1762, he published The Social Contract with its immortal openingline, "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains." Hisnotion of "liberty, equality, fraternity" became the rallying cryof the French Revolution. He moved to England in 1766, stayedbriefly, and returned to France in 1767 after quarreling with hisEnglish sponsors, notably David Hume. Rousseau's mental healthapparently began to deteriorate while he was in England, a declinewhich continued back in France. Though Rousseau managed to producehis Confessions (published over a sever-year period), and otherworks, he ultimately became seriously unstable. Some 16 yearsafter his death in 1878, Rousseau's remains were relocated to thePantheon in Paris, where he rests beside Voltaire.