Jean Jacques Rousseau's works during the Enlightened made a mark on the people of that era. One of his most infamous collections of writing is titled "Emile". This novel was written by Rousseau to shine a light on his personal education beliefs. "Emile" consists of five books each representing the different stages of learning. For example in Book 1, the author discusses the goodness of men and how children should be kept away from bad habits while Rousseau discusses the importance and purpose of education, a good school environment, self motivating learning, discipline and physical education in Book 2. The other three books discuss preadolescence, puberty and adulthood.
Rousseau was also an extremely intelligent philosopher who believed in many new ideas in his time. One of his beliefs was that people are inherently good but they become corrupted over time by the evil of society. This was a major change in belief from the Catholic Church at the time who adamantly believed that all men are born with original sin. Rousseau also believed in equality, liberty and freedom during his time. His quotes are commonly recognized all around the world today as models of living and deep intellectual thought provokers. Such as the famous quotes, "No man has natural authority over his fellow man" and "Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains."
Over the years Rousseau's thinking was and continues to have a powerful influence on many philosophers and political theorists. His work can often be found in quite in a few liberal theories, communitarian ideas, civic republicanism and as well in theories of deliberative and participatory democracy. As time continues many writers have continued to use him as an inspiration for authoritarian aspects during the French Revolution.
However his most significant impact was on Immanuel Kant. Kant had a portrait of Rousseau in his home and according to legend the one and only time he ever forgot to go on his daily walk was one afternoon when he was reading "Emile". Some other examples of Rousseau's vast influence can be found in the "Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals" which alludes to his work entitled "The Social Contract". In current/contemporary political philosophy many philosophers believe that John Rawls shares the same view points that Rousseau had in his time. This is especially noticeable in the work "A Theory of Justice" which reflects on the influence of Rousseau.