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The Nature of LoveCourtly and Romantic$
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Irving Singer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262512732

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262512732.001.0001

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Rousseau The Attempt to Purify Passion

Rousseau The Attempt to Purify Passion

(p.303) 10 Rousseau The Attempt to Purify Passion
The Nature of Love

Irving Singer

The MIT Press

This chapter elaborates on the ideas of love presented by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, which are unique because they stem from an analysis of his own experiences. In essence, Rousseau is not only a philosopher, but also a novelist and analyst of his experiences, who presents his ideas on love as a moralist, writes novels utilizing the concept within its narrative structure, and then leaves posthumous memoirs about his love-life. Being a writer, he systematically tells his readers about his nature as a writer and in so doing reveals his manner of solving problems of human nature. However, this also makes it difficult for Rousseau to detach himself from his subject matter. This lack of distance from one’s inner self was to become the core of nineteenth-century romanticism.

Keywords:   Jean-Jacques Rousseau, moralist, human nature, inner self, romanticism

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