28 June 1712
Geneva, Genève, Switzerland
2 July 1778 (aged 66)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Geneva, 1712 – Ermenonville, 2 July 1778) was a major Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the Enlightenment, whose political philosophy influenced the French Revolution and the development of liberal, conservative, and socialist theory. With his Confessions, Reveries of a Solitary Walker, and other writings, he invented modern autobiography and encouraged a new focus on the building of subjectivity that bore fruit in the work of thinkers as diverse as Hegel and Freud. His novel Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse was one of the best-selling fictional works of the eighteenth century and of great importance to the development of romanticism. He also made important contributions to music as a theorist and a composer, and was reburied alongside other French national heroes in the Panthéon in Paris, sixteen years after his death, in 1794.
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