Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a political philosopher who was born in 1712 and died in 1778. He was the author of Discourse on Inequality, The Social Contract, Èmile, The Confessions, and other influential works. The self-taught Rousseau sought to mediate between the thoughts of theorists on both ends of the political spectrum. His main philosophical project was to describe the passage of human beings from their natural state into a civil society and to understand the differing virtues of each state and the ways they could be mediated between to provide for the common good.


Read detailed Summary & Analysis of these works by Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Discourse on Inequality, The Social Contract, Èmile, and Confessions.

Key Terms & People

Reference these lists of key terms and people from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s key works.

Further Study

Go deeper into you study of Jean-Jacques Rousseau by reading an essay about this life, the influences on him, and his influence on others.