The Enlightenment Period
Who was Rousseau?
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778) was an original political philosopher who may have contributed more than any other single person to the motivations for the French Revolution. He was, in addition, a highly creative novelist capable of gathering a reading public into a community that lived vicariously through his characters, some locking themselves up for days to sentimentally enjoy his latest novel. For these reasons, Rousseau may have been the first modern celebrity-philosopher.