192. Jean Jacques Rousseau, much more than a philosopher

I’ve already introduced JJ Rousseau and his The Social Contract in previous Twitteretters. He is not only a very renowned philosopher, but quite possibly the most influential political author of our history. His work set the basis for the advent of modern democracy, providing the ideological backbone to the constitutional assemblies of the French Revolution and, nearly at the same time the other side of the Atlantic, to the American Revolution and its development of a sophisticated parliamentarian republic. However, and unlikely as it seems, Rousseau was hugely influential also by writing what is credited by many as the first romantic novel, La nouvelle Heloise, opening the floodgates of a genre that has produced incalculable pages and book sales of a volume unthinkable for philosophy works. Interestingly, and perhaps paradoxically, Rousseau both gave us the tools to challenge our social and political environment, to possibly improve it, and to evade it, reducing the urgency to do so 

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