Rousseau, Jean-Jacques [(rooh-soh)]
An eighteenth-century French; one of the leading figures of the . He held that in the state of nature, people are good, but that they are corrupted by social institutions; this notion became a central idea of . Some of Rousseau’s best-known writings are The Social Contract, an important influence on the ; Émile, a statement of his views on education; and his , The Confessions.
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