A Particular Moment Of A Very Young Age Essay

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In a particular moment of “illumination”, Rousseau realized that the progress humanity had achieved during the period of Enlightenment was of no real value to its emotional state of well-being. Hence, he was an individual who did not perceive the world as many other contemporaries of his did, especially philosophes and so found that emotion, rather than reason, was what first helped him to understand the world he lived in. Rousseau was convinced of it from memories of a very young age: “I had feelings before I had thoughts: that is the common lot of humanity.” (Rousseau, 588) While this may be initially perceived as Rousseau simply projecting his own opinion onto humanity, as he is of course writing from the heart regarding his own personal experiences in Confessions, he is nonetheless not far from the truth in his assessment either. If anything, he felt that society was to blame for the amorality of man and so rejected the very notions that were the foundation of thought held by the philosophers of his time. This would contribute to his idea that it was emotion which would be privileged over reason. “I dared to strip man’s nature naked and showed that his supposed improvement was the true fount of all his miseries.” (Puchner, 582) In remembering back on his life, Rousseau remarks that he was “…bequeathed with a tender heart” (Rousseau, 588) and it would become the basis and foundation for his raison d 'être.
Much of what provided him with a predilection for emotions over…

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