Rousseau, Judge of Jean-Jacques: Dialogues (Collected Writings of Rousseau)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
One of Rousseau’s later and most puzzling works and never before available in English, this neglected autobiographical piece was the product of the philosopher’s old age and sense of persecution. Long viewed simply as evidence of his growing paranoia, it consists of three dialogues between a character named “Rousseau” and one identified only as “Frenchman” who discuss the bad reputation and works of an author named “Jean-Jacques.” Dialogues offers a fascinating retrospective of his literary career.
Procureur Generale of Geneva. Voltaire anonymously publishes the Sentiment des Citoyens, announcing Rousseau's abandonment of his children. 1765 After a sermon directed against him and the stoning of his house, Rousseau leaves Motiers for the Isle of Saint-Pierre on the Lake of Bienne. Expelled by the government of Berne, Rousseau decides to take refuge in England at the invitation of David Hume. 1766 Rousseau goes to England with Hume and de Luze, settling first in Chiswick and then at
certain complications in the argument that are not immediately apparent.4 * All references to the definitive French edition of Rousseau's Oeuvres completes (Paris: Bibliotheque de la Pleiade) cite volume and page in this form. xvi Introduction In the first place, it indicates that Rousseau anticipates that his argument will be misunderstood. Second, the epigraph identifies Rousseau himself with one of the very poets he condemns in the text of the Discourse. As Rousseau was obliged to point
affect all men, but to a much greater extent those who deserve them and who have no asylum inside themselves to which they can escape. To be moved as little as possible by them, one must feel them to be unjust, and build a rampart of honor and innocence around one's heart, inaccessible to disgrace. Then one can console oneself about the error or injustice of men. For in the former case the insults are not intended by those who make them for the person who receives them, and in the latter they do
group he places himself without thinking behind others so he won't need to think about his route. Thus he has never remembered any route unless he walked it alone. All men are naturally lazy, even their interest doesn't animate them, and the most pressing needs make them act only in spurts. But as amourpropre is progressively aroused, it excites them, pushes them, keeps them going constantly breathless because it is the only passion that always speaks to them. That is why they are all seen out in
Second Dialogue (PL, I. 848-851) 147 Men, always believing him to be like themselves, saw him sometimes as a profound genius, sometimes as a petty charlatan, at first a prodigy of virtue, then a monster of villainy, and always as the world's strangest, most bizarre being. Nature made him only a good artisan, albeit sensitive to the point of transport, an idolater of the beautiful, impassioned for justice, capable of vigor and loftiness during brief moments of effervescence, but whose habitual