Jan. 21, 2022


Ques: The promptings of the heart are more to be trusted than the logic of minds -Rousseau.

Ans: Rousseau was definitely a revolutionary thinker of his time. Even in the era marked by dominance of science and rationalism, Rousseau was speaking about emotions. Ironically, while being a product of the age of enlightenment he emerged to be an ardent critic of enlightenment. That’s why he was supposed to be the father of Romanticism.  

Rousseau was opposed to the terms like progress, civilization and rationalism. As he believes that in the name of progress and civility mankind didn’t go ahead rather it diverted from its real path. According to him, man was in blissful stage when he lay in the lap of nature. But farther he went from nature and more unhappy he became in his life. He declared, ‘man is born free but everywhere he is in chains’. So, in place of scientific method and rationalism Rousseau gave emphasis over ‘emotions’. Which he called ‘Noble Savage.’  

Rousseau was a great critic of modernism based on enlightenment. If enlightenment presented a model of modernity Rousseau developed an alternative model of modernity which rejected the achievements of science and civilization. Although, Rousseau appeared to be an odd man during his time but he became famous at the time of French Revolution as his romanticism gave a big fuel to the fire of the revolution. Not simply that Rousseau’s ideas always remain to be relevant and they resurfaced from time to time.