Voltaire: Candide
Rousseau: Emile

Rousseau: Discourse on the Arts and Sciences

Rousseau_herborisantA Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences (French: Discours sur les sciences et les arts) is a 1750 essay by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It was originally composed in response to a competition announced by the Academy of Dijon,asking whether the restoration of the arts and sciences had contributed to the purification of morals.

Rousseau won the competition, and earned instant notoriety, by answering in the negative. This affirmation of nature over civilisation set him on the intellectual path that would shape much of his later work.

The Discourse on the Arts and Sciences at online book stores
Amazon | bookshop.org (US) | bookshop.org (UK)

Free online texts
English translations
Gutenberg: The Social Contract & The Discourses. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats. 
Internet Archive: The Social Contract and the Discourses, translated with an introduction by G.D.H. Cole. Everyman's Library edition (1920). EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, translated by Ian Johnston. EPUB, MOBI and HTML formats.
French texts
Wikisource: French text. Multiple editions. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources
Librivox: Discourse sur les Sciences et les Arts (French language version). Free public domain audiobook.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Jean Jacques Rousseau.
Wikipedia: Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Discourse on the Arts and Sciences

Further reading
French Language resources 
Rousseau: Discourse on Inequality - often known as the Second Discourse, with the Discourse on the Arts and Sciences being the first.
Rousseau: The Social Contract


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)