Today’s Notable U. S. Birthday
Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Leading Enlightenment philosopher, writer.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a major philosopher, writer, and composer of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, whose political philosophy influenced the French Revolution and the development of modern political and educational thought. His novel, Emile: or, On Education, which he considered his most important work, is a seminal treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship.
His sentimental novel, Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse, was of great importance to the development of pre-Romanticism and romanticism in fiction. Rousseau’s autobiographical writings: his Confessions, which initiated the modern autobiography, and his Reveries of a Solitary Walker (along with the works of Lessing and Goethe in Germany, and Richardson and Sterne in England), were among the pre-eminent examples of the late eighteenth-century movement known as the “Age of Sensibility“, featuring an increasing focus on subjectivity and introspection that has characterized the modern age. Rousseau also wrote a play and two operas, and made important contributions to music as a theorist. During the period of the French Revolution, Rousseau was the most popular of the philosophes among members of the Jacobin Club. He was interred as a national hero in the Panthéon in Paris, in 1794, sixteen years after his death.
U. S. Contemporaries: Revolutionary War Cycle – Awakening Generation – Prophet (Idealist) (1701-1723)