Online Library of Liberty

A collection of scholarly works about individual liberty and free markets. A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.

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Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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1712 - 1778


Historical Period:
The 18th Century


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) was a Swiss philosopher and novelist who was an important figure in the Enlightenment. In his novels and discourses he claimed that civilization had weakened the natural liberty of mankind and that a truly free society would be the expression of the “general will” of all members of that society. He influenced later thinkers on both ends of the political spectrum.



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