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Top 10 Most Intense Rivalries of All Time

By Becky Ferreira Jan 28, 2013

2 of 11

Voltaire and Jean-Jacque Rousseau

Voltaire believed that education and reason could rocket humanity to new heights. His contemporary Rousseau believed the opposite: he thought "civilizing" institutions had brought out the worst in humanity, and advocated returning to a "natural" hunter-gatherer state. A witty party animal versus a Luddite naturalist? You better believe sparks flew. Voltaire even wrote to Rousseau about his work, saying,"Never was such a cleverness used in the design of making us all stupid." Ouch, JJ! Need some ointment for that burn?

Tags: history, slideshows, life, napoleon

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About the Author
Becky Ferreira

Becky Ferreira is a writer, performer, and raptor based in New York.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.

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