61. In his famous Discourse on the Sciences and Arts, also known as his First Discourse, which launched his reputation in France, Rousseau already signals the beginning of his split with the main body of the philosophes, partly because of his conviction that human sentiment, the source and mainspring of all moral and social progress of mankind, was being slighted in the great preoccupation with the progress of the sciences. D’Alembert himself indicated his concern over the abuse of the analytical method when applied to the expression of sentiments and passions in literature (pp. 96–97), but nonetheless he put his greatest hopes in the progress of analytical empiricism. Rousseau, however, made the human heart and morality his central concern. For him the progress of the mind was only secondary and could even be harmful if not accompanied by moral progress. He moved into an examination of the world of emotional experience and sentiment that laid the foundations of the Romantic movement. His philosophical and personal disagreements with his former encyclopedic colleagues were pathologically intensified by his own mental instability, which led him to imagine a vast conspiracy surrounding him. The open rupture, long in preparation, was brought on by remarks in d’Alembert’s article on Geneva in the Encyclopedia about the policies of that city toward theatrical performances. Rousseau replied in his Lettre à d’Alembert (1758), where he signaled his complete breach with Diderot and made explicit the degree to which he diverged from the encyclopedists in opinions concerning morality and its relationship to religion. See A. M. Wilson, Diderot, p. 291 ff., and R. Naves, Voltaire et l’Encyclopédie (Paris, 1938), pp. 34–50. Rousseau, however, felt honored to be immortalized in the Preliminary Discourse, and he did not argue with him over the objections d’Alembert raises here. See Correspondance générale de Rousseau, ed. Th. Dufour (Paris, 1924), II, 11–12 (letter of 1751 to d’Alembert).


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