Ethics and Political Economy Reference Archive

etching of Rousseau

Jean Jacques Rousseau


1712 - 1778

“Each of us puts his person and all his power in common under the supreme direction of the general will, and, in our corporate capacity, we receive each member as an indivisible part of the whole.” [The Social Contract]


Note on Rousseau, Friedrich Melchior Grimm, April 15, 1761


Preface to “Narcissus, or the Lover of Himself”, 1752

A Dissertation On the Origin and Foundation of The Inequality of Mankind, 1754

“It is impossible to make any man a slave, unless he be first reduced to a situation in which he cannot do without the help of others: and, since such a situation does not exist in a state of nature, every one is there his own master” [On the Origin of The Inequality]

The Social Contract, 1762

“Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains” [The Social Contract]

The Creed of a Savoyard Priest, 1762 (Excerpt from Emile)

“There is therefore at the bottom of our hearts an innate principle of justice and virtue, by which, in spite of our maxims, we judge our own actions or those of others to be good or evil, and it is this principle that I call conscience.” [Emile]