When Virtue Destroys You

Rousseau on how our emotions are essential for leading a meaningful life.

In the age of selfies and social media, the dichotomy between being and appearance is more and more apparent. Although he didn't use the word 'authenticity' per se in his multifaceted work, Jean Jacques Rousseau still provides us with key insights of unsurpassed relevance today, when advertisers abuse authenticity, and deconstructionist philosophers deride it.

Just as we wonder about the impact of globalisation on the individual, 18th century Parisians wondered what kind of subjectivity was shaping up in the largest European metropolis. Rousseau was a central figure in directing this transformation.

A tale of authenticity violated

More than in The Social Contract, Emile or his “Discourses”, Rousseau’s groundbreaking insights on authenticity are found in his 18th century bestselling novel Julie, or the New Heloise.[1]

Julie d'Etange, the daughter of a n

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killer smile 2 September 2021

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