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The 70 Most Famous Phrases of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The 70 Most Famous Phrases of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

September 12, 2022

The phrases of Jean-Jacques Rousseau that we will see next They serve to understand the way of thinking of this Swiss philosopher.

His thinking as a revolutionary intellectual was reflected in some of his most important works, such as The social contract; * Emilio *, or Of Education.

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Rousseau's 70 Most Famous Phrases

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born in Switzerland in June 1712. Within all his occupations He stood out as a philosopher, pedagogue and writer , although he also devoted himself to music, as well as to the botanical and naturalistic world.


Although as an intellectual he is included within the current of The Enlightenment , his thought was characterized by being opposed to the major representatives of this current, such as Voltaire, with whom he maintained a deep enmity.

The ideas of Rousseau supposed a revolution in the pedagogical currents of their time and their political ideas exerted a great influence in the evolution of the republican theories characteristic of the French revolution.

His main contributions to political philosophy They were, among other things, the concepts of "alienation" and "general will". This last thought was the one that Kant himself turned into his "categorical imperative".


Next we will see a selection of phrases by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the philosopher who best defined the essence of European Romanticism that was to come.

1. Man is born free, but everywhere he is chained

A phrase of s. XVIII that continues very current in our times.

2. Man is good by nature is society who corrupts it

At birth we ignore the concepts of good and evil , it is our environment that determines it.

3. The only custom that should be taught to children is that they do not submit to any

Autonomy during childhood is essential for the correct development of the child.

4. The right to vote is a right that nothing and nobody can remove from citizens

The basis on which modern democracies should be based.

5. To renounce our freedom is to renounce our quality as men, and with this to all the duties of humanity

The freedom of people should be intrinsic to their status as human beings.


6. It is more valuable to have the respect than the admiration of the people

The admiration is usually superficial, respect is founded.

7. A good father is worth a hundred teachers

Home education is fundamental in the upbringing of children.

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8. Faith is a matter of geography

Even though beliefs, like cultures, can be imported and exported.

9. It is a very necessary forecast to understand that it is not possible to foresee everything

A sentence with a crushing logic but we do not always remember.

10. We are curious in proportion to our culture

The more we know, the more cravings for knowledge we have.

11. Being an adult is being alone

A somewhat pessimistic view of life, but true on many occasions.

12. No one can be happy if he does not appreciate himself

High self-esteem is essential for a good functioning in any plane of life.

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13. I know no greater enemy of man than he who is friend of the whole world

Falsehood is the worst enemy of good relationships.

14. The man who has lived the most is not the one who has fulfilled the most years, but the one who has experienced the most in life

An ode to live intensely every minute of our lives.

15. There is a book always open for all eyes: nature

The beauty and wisdom of nature are available to anyone.

16. Reason deceives us often, conscience never

We can not always trust what our logic dictates.

17. Falsehood has infinite combinations, but truth has only one way of being

Although lies can be presented in a thousand ways, absolute truth has only one.

18. The first step towards good is not to do evil

Although it seems obvious, sometimes we forget. One of Rousseau's phrases based on aphorisms.

19. Patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet

Everyone knows that good is made to wait.

20. Remorse is numbed in prosperity and sharpens in bad times

In the hardest moments usually all our ghosts arise.

21. Every man is useful to humanity by the simple fact of existing

Each and every one of the people of the planet are important for the development of this.

22. If you remove from your hearts the love of beauty, you will remove all the charm of life

The beauty of things It is one of the great pleasures of life.

23. You have to be ashamed of committing a fault, not of repairing it

We must never forget: to rectify our mistakes is to be wise people.

24. Children have their own ways of seeing, thinking and feeling; nothing is more foolish than to try to replace them with ours

It is necessary that children live their childhood as such, without trying to impose the vision or customs of adults.

25. I have always believed that the good thing was if it were beautiful put into action

There is great beauty in good works.

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26. Who does not hate vice very much, does not love virtue very much

Although a bit outdated for the current era, it is necessary to put some limits in our lives.

27. Cities are the abyss of the human species

The number of inhabitants of a city is inversely proportional to the relationship that exists between them.

28. Consciousness is the voice of souls, passions are the voices of the body

Virtue lies in knowing how to find balance.

29. Love letters are written beginning without knowing what is going to be said, and they end up not knowing what has been said

Love always tends to cloud our mind.

30. Equality in wealth should consist in that no citizen is so opulent that he can buy another, nor any so poor that he is forced to sell himself.

A phrase that should be applied to any context, place or time that crosses the human species.

31. Insults are the reasons for those who are at fault

Guilt deprives us of reasoning to discuss.

32. The strongest is not always strong enough to be a master

Leaders are not built on the basis of strength, but of aptitude.

33. I detest the bad maxims more than the bad actions

Bad principles can be worse than bad behaviors.

34. You will never be a friar if you are not first altar boys

To be able to take to the highest, you always have to start from the bottom.

35. I prefer to be a man of paradoxes than a man of prejudice

While paradoxes make us think, prejudice blinds us .

36. If reason makes man, feelings lead him

Are feelings the engine of our lives?

37. All passions are good while you own them, and all are bad when you enslave us

There is no greater slavery than when it is the feelings of oneself that impose themselves.

38. Fears, suspicions, coldness, caution, hatred and betrayal are often hidden under that uniform and fallacious veil of politeness

Under the facade of courtesy can hide the worst of intentions.

39. The soul resists sharp pains much better than prolonged sadness

The feelings of sadness that settle in us can be more toxic than a bad experience.

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40. He is truly free who only wants what he is capable of doing and does what he likes

A really inspiring maxim.

41. It is very difficult to think nobly when you do not think more than to live

If we only think of ourselves, we will rarely be good people

42. There is a lot of difference between traveling to see countries and to see towns

The best of travel is to be integrated into the culture we visit and not be a mere tourist.

43. General and abstract ideas are the source of the greatest errors of humanity.

Thinking in concrete is a guarantee of success.

44. To work constitutes an indispensable duty for the social man. Rich or poor, powerful or weak, every idle citizen is a thief.

To work is to make us useful for society.

45. Man suffers from few evils, except those which he himself is attracted by the abuse of his faculties

There is no worse enemy than oneself.

46. ​​The money you have is an instrument of freedom, the one you are looking for is an instrument of freedom

We will never be completely free if we do not stop depending on the material.

47. My biggest misfortune has always been not being able to resist the adulations

Vanity makes us slaves.

48. Man is a miracle without interest

The potential of the human being is inversely proportional to his interest in exploiting it.

49. Intonation is the soul of discourse

It is more important how you say that what is said

50. An honest man will never find a friend better than his wife

Should our partner also be our best friend?

51. When leaving certain mouths, the same truth has a bad smell

The truth always has as many interpretations and interests as the people who account for it.

52. If there were a nation of gods, these would be governed democratically; but such a perfect government is not suitable for men

Is man capable of achieving a true democracy?

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53. The government had its origin in the purpose of finding a form of association that defends and protects the person and property of each with the common strength of all

A phrase of Rousseau that many current politicians should remember.

54. Freedom is obedience to the law that oneself has designed

We are slaves of our morals.

55. Freedom is not a fruit that grows in all climates and that is why it is not available to all peoples

Unfortunately, it's a universal reason although it should not be like that

56. Vice rarely appears in opposition to honesty; but almost always takes the disguise of this

Integrity or decency is the best mask for the corrupt.

57. It is not enough for a wife to be faithful, it is necessary that her husband, her friends and her neighbors believe in their fidelity

What would the woman of Cesar think?

58. It is very difficult to submit to obedience the one who does not seek to command

Who does not want to send, much less want to be sent.

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59. Absolute silence leads to sadness. This is the image of death

A great phrase of Rousseau to reflect.

60. What wisdom can be found that is greater than goodness?

Is being a good man the best you can hope for?

61. Nature never deceives us; we are the ones who deceive ourselves

Is it objective reality or are we the ones who alter it?

62. He who blushes is already guilty; true innocence is not ashamed of anything

Lies can not be hidden for a long period of time, they always end up coming to light

63. The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination does not

Creative people are owners of an infinite universe.

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

Is money and food the most important thing in the world?

65. It may not be better, but at least I'm different

A genuine personality has nothing to envy to be perfect.

66. Childhood is the dream of reason

Are the first years of our life where we dream the most and the least we think?

67. It is a mania shared by the philosophers of all times to deny what exists and explain what is not

Philosophy has always been based on doubting the pre-established and analyzing what is not known.

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68. I hate books, they just teach us to talk about things we know nothing about

Is the best education in the books or in the experiences?

69. Virtue is a state of war and to live in it we always have to fight against ourselves

Temptations are always lurking.

70. Money is money seed and the first currency is sometimes harder to get than the second million

Is it true that money attracts more money?

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