Isaac Rousseau was one of the small minority of Geneva’s residents who enjoyed the rank of citizen of Geneva, a status which Jean-Jacques was to inherit.
According to Rousseau’s own subsequent accounts, the haphazard education that he received from his father included both the inculcation of republican patriotism and the reading of classical authors such as Plutarch who dealt with the Roman republic.
The Academy sought submissions on the theme of whether the development of the arts and sciences had improved or corrupted public morals.
Rousseau later claimed that he then and there experienced an epiphany which included the thought, central to his world view, that humankind is good by nature but is corrupted by society.
The second was his participation in the “querelle des bouffons”, a controversy that followed the performance in Paris of Pergolesi’s by a visiting Italian company and which pitted the partisans of Italian music against those of the French style.
Rousseau, who had already developed a taste for Italian music during his stay in Venice, joined the dispute through his .Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born in the independent Calvinist city-state of Geneva in 1712, the son of Isaac Rousseau, a watchmaker, and Suzanne Bernard.Rousseau’s mother died nine days after his birth, with the consequence that Rousseau was raised and educated by his father until the age of ten.In 1731 he returned to Mme de Warens at Chambéry and later briefly became her lover and then her household manager.Rousseau remained with Mme de Warens through the rest of the 1730s, moving to Lyon in 1740 to take up a position as a tutor.The concern that dominates Rousseau’s work is to find a way of preserving human freedom in a world where human beings are increasingly dependent on one another for the satisfaction of their needs.This concern has two dimensions: material and psychological, of which the latter has greater importance.Music remained Rousseau’s primary interest in this period, and the years 17 saw his most important contributions to the field.The first of these was his opera ), which was an immediate success (and stayed in the repertoire for a century).On his father’s exile from the city to avoid arrest, Jean-Jacques was put in the care of a pastor at nearby Bossey and subsequently apprenticed to an engraver.Rousseau left the city at the age of sixteen and came under the influence of a Roman Catholic convert noblewoman, Francoise-Louise de la Tour, Baronne de Warens.