Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778)
Quotations


Although modesty is natural to man, it is not natural to children. Modesty only begins with the knowledge of evil.

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

Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.

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

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.

As soon as any man says of the affairs of the State "What does it matter to me?" the State may be given up for lost.

At Genoa, the word Liberty may be read over the front of the prisons and on the chains of the galley-slaves. This application of the device is good and just. It is indeed only malefactors of all estates who prevent the citizen from being free. In the country in which all such men were in the galleys, the most perfect liberty would be enjoyed.

Base souls have no faith in great individuals.

Being wealthy isn't just a question of having lots of money. It's a question of what we want. Wealth isn't an absolute, it's relative to desire. Every time we seek something that we can't afford, we can be counted as poor, how much money we may actually have.

But if the aberrations of foolish youth made me forget such wise lessons for a time, I have the happiness to sense at last that whatever the inclination one may have toward vice, it is difficult for an education in which the heart is involved to remain forever lost.

But should we reason rightly, if from the fact that passions are natural to man, we inferred that all the passions we feel in ourselves and behold in others are natural? Their source, indeed, is natural; but they have been swollen by a thousand other streams; they are a great river which is constantly growing, one in which we can scarcely find a single drop of the original stream. Our natural passions are few in number; they are the means to freedom, they tend to self-preservation. All those which enslave and destroy us have another source; nature does not bestow them on us; we seize on them in her despite.

Childhood is the sleep of reason.

Children are taught to look down on their nurses (nannies), to treat them as mere servants. When their task is completed the child is withdrawn or the nurse is dismissed. Her visits to her foster-child are discouraged by a cold reception. After a few years the child never sees her again. The mother expects to take her place, and to repair by her cruelty the results of her own neglect. But she is greatly mistaken; she is making an ungrateful foster-child, not an affectionate son; she is teaching him ingratitude, and she is preparing him to despise at a later day the mother who bore him, as he now despises his nurse.

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

Hatred, as well as love, renders its votaries credulous.

He thinks like a philosopher, but governs like a king. {Of Frederick the Great}

Nature never deceives us; it is always we who deceive ourselves.

Never exceed your rights, and they will soon become unlimited.

No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.

No true believer could be intolerant or a persecutor. If I were a magistrate and the law carried the death penalty against atheists, I would begin by sending to the stake whoever denounced another.

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.

Once you teach people to say what they do not understand, it is easy enough to get them to say anything you like. v One could wish no easier death than that of Socrates, calmly discussing philosophy with his friends; one could fear nothing worse than that of Jesus, dying in torment, among the insults, the mockery, the curses of the whole nation. In the midst of these terrible sufferings, Jesus prays for his cruel murderers. Yes, if the life and death of Socrates are those of a philosopher, the life and death of Christ are those of a God.

One must choose between making a man or a citizen, for one cannot make both at the same time.

Or, rather, let us be more simple and less vain.

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.

Our affections as well as our bodies are in perpetual flux.

Our greatest evils flow from ourselves.

Our passions are the chief means of self-preservation; to try to destroy them is therefore as absurd as it is useless; this would be to overcome nature, to reshape God's handiwork. If God bade man annihilate the passions he has given him, God would bid him be and not be; He would contradict himself. He has never given such a foolish commandment, there is nothing like it written on the heart of man, and what God will have a man do, He does not leave to the words of another man. He speaks Himself; His words are written in the secret heart.

Our will is always for our own good, but we do not always see what that is; the people is never corrupted, but it is often deceived, and on such occasions only does it seem to will what is bad.

He who blushes is already guilty.

He who is slowest in making a promise is most faithful in its performance.

Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong.

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

It is as if my heart and my brain did not belong to the same person. Feelings come quicker than lightning and fill my soul, but they bring me no illumination; they burn me and dazzle me.

It is easier to conquer than to administer. With enough leverage, a finger could overturn the world; but to support the world, one must have the shoulders of Hercules.

It is hard to prevent oneself from believing what one so keenly desires, and who can doubt that the interest we have in admitting or denying the reality of the Judgement to come determines the faith of most men in accordance with their hopes and fears.



MemorableQuotations.com

Memorable Quotations: Jean-Jacques Rousseau
(Kindle Book)

Memorable Quotations: French Writers (A - L)

Memorable Quotations: French Writers (M - Z)

Memorable Quotations: French Writers of the Past
(Kindle Book and Paperback)

Memorable Quotations: French Novelists

Memorable Quotations: French Philosophers

Memorable Quotations: French Poets

Memorable Quotations: Philosophers (A - H)

Memorable Quotations: Philosophers (I - P)

Memorable Quotations: Philosophers (Q - Z)

Memorable Quotations: Philosophers of Western Civilization
(Kindle Book and Paperback)

MemorableQuotations.com
http://www.memorablequotations.com