Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Discourse Of The Age Of Reason

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The Enlightenment Era is a period of Western European history that inspired many modern-day ideas. According to the Encyclopédie, the crux of the Enlightenment is the “interrelation of all knowledge.” Immediately following the Scientific Revolution, the Age of Enlightenment offered many intellectuals the ability to pursue the application of knowledge and reason in an effort to alter the traditional and religious beliefs. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, and Denis Diderot were among some of the most influential authors and philosophers of the Age of Reason, each arguing that the general public needs to accept a new manner of thinking.
In 1751, Jean-Jacques’ Rousseau wrote his famous article Discourse of the Arts and Sciences to dispute the
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It is clear from his use of satire that he considers Rousseau’s arguments completely ignorant and feeble. Voltaire opens his essay by noting that he has read and contemplated the Discourse of the Arts and Sciences, and sarcastically thanks him entertaining the public with his juvenile ideas about how people should live like barbarians. He even goes as far as to say that the people who agree with Rousseau’s theories “makes one long to go on all fours. Since, however, it is now some sixty years since I gave up the practice, I feel that it is unfortunately impossible for me to resume it: I leave this naturel habit to those more fit for it than are you and I.” This directly references the notion that Rousseau believes that people will become virtuous by being physically active. Voltaire believes that this course of action will make people more savage not the other way around. While Voltaire agrees with the idea that science and art have often caused a great deal of harm, he points out that it was ignorance that caused injury not the ideas themselves. Voltaire is a classic Enlightenment thinker and his works advocate for the citizens to educate themselves to create a more informed and civilized society. Voltaire uses several persuasive writing techniques to employ reason and knowledge to respond to Rousseau’s letter. Voltaire does not use the ad hominem technique, which is attacking a person; instead he attacked Rousseau’s ideas. Furthermore, he was able to write very influential works that are still famous today. His major writing style mainly fall under four categories: plays, poetry, historical works, and philosophical works. In fact, Voltaire even teases Rousseau in the article by creating several juxtapositions between his more satirical works such as Oedipe and his more serious and educational works such as the Universal History, which describes the unabridged

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