Jean Jacques Burlamaqui (1694-1748), Swiss publicist, was born at Geneva on the 24th of June 1694. At the age of twenty-five he was designated honorary professor of ethics and the law of nature at the university of Geneva. Before taking up the appointment he travelled through France and England, and made the acquaintance of the most eminent writers of the period. On his return he began his lectures, and soon gained a wide reputation, from the simplicity of his style and the precision of his views. He continued to lecture for fifteen years, when he was compelled on account of ill-health to resign. His fellow-citizens at once elected him a member of the council of state, and he gained as high a reputation for his practical sagacity as he had for his theoretical knowledge. He died at Geneva on the 3rd of April 1748. His works were Principes du droit naturel (1747), and Principes du droit politique (1751). These have passed through many editions, and were very extensively used as text-books. Burlamaqui's style is simple and clear, and his arrangement of the material good.
His fundamental principle may be described as rational utilitarianism, and in many ways it resembles that of Cumberland.