Top 80 Jean-Jacques Rousseau Quotes

Every person has a right to risk their own life for the preservation of it.


It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.


Everything is good as it comes from the hands of the Maker of the world, but degenerates once it gets into the hands of man


Truth is an homage that the good man pays to his own dignity.


I say to myself: “Who are you to measure infinite power?


People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.


Why should we build our happiness on the opinons of others, when we can find it in our own hearts?


We seek knowledge only because we desire enjoyment, and it is impossible to conceive why a person who has neither desires nor fears would take the trouble to reason.


The bounds of human possibility are not as confining as we think they are; they are made to seem to be tight by our weaknesses, our vices, our prejudices that confine them.


I hate books they only teach us to talk about things we know nothing about.


I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery.


Every man having been born free and master of himself, no one else may under any pretext whatever subject him without his consent. To assert that the son of a slave is born a slave is to assert that he is not born a man.


I have never thought, for my part, that man’s freedom consists in his being able to do whatever he wills, but that he should not, by any human power, be forced to do what is against his will.


You will never be free as long as there remains one Russian soldier in Poland and your freedom will always be threatened as long as Russia interferes in your affairs.


If there were a nation of Gods, it would govern itself democratically. A government so perfect is not suited to men.


There are times when I am so unlike myself that I might be taken for someone else of an entirely opposite character.


The first man, who, after enclosing a piece of ground, took it into his head to say, “This is mine,” and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society.


When I stay in one Place, I can hardly think at all; my body had to be on the move to set my mind going.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau.


Among the many short cuts to science, we badly need someone to teach us the art of learning with difficulty.


The real world has its limits; the imaginary world is infinite. Unable to enlarge the one, let us restrict the other, for it is from the difference between the two alone that are born all the pains which make us truly unhappy.


A taste for ostentation is rarely associated in the same souls with a taste for honesty


She was dull, unattractive, couldn’t tell the time, count money or tie her own shoe laces… But I loved her


…an animal, at the end of a few months, is what it will be all its life; and its species, at the end of a thousand years, is what it was in the first of those thousand years. Why is man alone subject to becoming an imbecile?


I am not made like any of those I have seen. I venture to believe that I am not made like any of those who are in existence. If I am not better, at least I am different.


What, then, is the government? An intermediary body established between the subjects and the sovereign for their mutual communication, a body charged with the execution of the laws and the maintenance of freedom, both civil and political.


Happy am I, for every time I meditate on governments, I always find new reasons in my inquiries for loving my own country.


Liberty may be gained, but can never be recovered.” (Bk2:8)


Our will is always for our own good, but we do not always see what that is; the people is never corrupted, but it is often deceived…” (Bk2:3)


Laws are always useful to those who possess and vexatious to those who have nothing.


But in some great souls, who consider themselves as citizens of the world, and forcing the imaginary barriers that separate people from people…


The first sentiment of man was that of his existence, his first care that of preserving it.


To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, to surrender the rights of humanity and even its duties.


To renounce freedom is to renounce one’s humanity, one’s rights as a man and equally one’s duties.


Liberty is like rich food and strong wine: the strong natures accustomed to them thrive and grow even stronger on them; but they deplete, inebriate and destroy the weak.


Even the soberest judged it requisite to sacrifice one part of their liberty to ensure the other, as a man, dangerously wounded in any of his limbs, readily parts with it to save the rest of his body.


As soon as any man says of the affairs of the State “What does it matter to me?” the State may be given up for lost.


Hatred, as well as love, renders its votaries credulous.


Virtue is a state of war, and to live in it we have always to combat with ourselves.


Ah,’ thought the king sadly, shrugging his shoulders, “I see clearly that if one has a crazy wife, one cannot avoid being a fool.'(“Queen Fantasque”)


We cannot teach children the danger of lying to men without feeling as men, the greater danger of lying to children.


Civilization is a hopeless race to discover remedies for the evils it produces.


I would rather be a man of paradoxes than a man of prejudices.


As she put it, she knew of nothing so ravishing as having a child whom she could whip whenever she was in a bad mood.(“The Queen Fantasque”)


Whether the woman shares the man’s passion or not, whether she is willing or unwilling to satisfy it, she always repulses him and defends herself, though not always with the same vigour, and therefore not always with the same success.


I hate books they teach us only to talk about what we do not know.


There is not a single ill-doer who could not be turned to some good.


If the life and death of Socrates were those of a sage the life and death of Jesus were those of a God.


Fame is but the breath of the people and that often unwholesome.


The happiest is he who suffers the least pain the most miserable he who enjoys the least pleasure.


I may not amount to much but at least I am unique.


Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid but which none have a right to expect.


Happiness: a good bank account a good cook and a good digestion.


What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?


To write a good love letter you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say and to finish without knowing what you have written.


Whoever blushes is already guilty true innocence is ashamed of nothing.


Man was born free and everywhere he is in shackles.


Little privations are easily endured when the heart is better treated than the body.


All that time is lost which might be better employed.


He who is the most slow in making a promise is the most faithful in the performance of it.


Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to preserve it. Has it ever been said that a man who throws himself out the window to escape a fire is guilty of suicide?


However great a man’s natural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at once.


How many famous and high-spirited heroes have lived a day too long?


Nature never deceives us it is we who deceive ourselves.


We are born weak, we need strength; helpless, we need aid; foolish, we need reason. All that we lack at birth, all that we need when we come to man’s estate, is the gift of education.


Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death.


No true believer could be intolerant or a persecutor. If I were a magistrate and the law carried the death penalty against atheists, I would begin by sending to the stake whoever denounced another.


O love, if I regret the age when one savors you, it is not for the hour of pleasure, but for the one that follows it.


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


Reading, solitude, idleness, a soft and sedentary life, intercourse with women and young people, these are perilous paths for a young man, and these lead him constantly into danger.


Our will is always for our own good, but we do not always see what that is.


Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect.


Although modesty is natural to man, it is not natural to children. Modesty only begins with the knowledge of evil.


Take from the philosopher the pleasure of being heard and his desire for knowledge ceases.


Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being.


What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?


Plant and your spouse plants with you weed and you weed alone.


The world of reality has its limits the world of imagination is boundless.


Money is the seed of money, and the first guinea is sometimes more difficult to acquire than the second million.


No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.


Free people, remember this maxim: we may acquire liberty, but it is never recovered if it is once lost.



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