Lead: Accepted as a part of the brilliant literary and cultural society of Paris in the mid-1700s, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, however, never felt quite at home.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: His early youth, spent in one of Geneva’s upper class families, was disrupted by his mother’s death and father’s exile. The resulting social come down gave Rousseau a life-long sense of insecurity and hunger for approval from the wealthy and well-connected. After his 1742 arrival in Paris Rousseau gravitated to the leading intellectual figures of the city cultivating a friendship with many such as the Encyclopedist, Denis Diderot. He soon, however, broke with them over the question of progress. In A Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, begun in late 1753, Rousseau describes primitive man in his idyllic state, basically good in the moral sense, free of the cumbersome burdens of modern society - culture, government, education, even family - here truly was uncorrupted man, the noble savage.

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