One of the main points of cleavage among interpreters of Rousseau concerns the relation of amour de soi (love of oneself)and amour propre (pride or vanity). Recent interpretations have downplayed the importance of amour de soi in Rousseau's thought and argued that a benign and a pernicious version of amour propre are essential for understanding his political and educational ideas. I ally strongly with a somewhat earlier view that distinguishes between amour de soi and amour propre and holds the former to be a difficult to maintain state of mind that Rousseau put great store on nurturing and attaining. Here is Rousseau's "Eighth Walk" from The Reveries of the Solitary Walker, Rousseau's last autobiographical writing. It is often overlooked in these discussions. The two concepts loom very large in Emile, Or of Education, and a note (see below; "O" in several translations, #12 in the Collected Writings of Rousseau) in the Discourse on Inequality presents relatively early in Rousseau's work a quasi-formal statement of the distinction.
Here are two essays that I wrote about Rousseau, one trying to make sense of his ideas about authority, and another reflecting on how Rousseau had been dealt with in American educational scholarship.
Note "O" — Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
Amour-propre and love of oneself [amour de soi], two passions very different in their Nature and their effects, must not be confused. Love of oneself is a natural sentiment which inclines every animal to watch over its own preservation, and which, directed in man by reason and modified by pity, produces humanity and virtue. Amour-propre is only a relative sentiment, artificial and born in Society, which inclines each individual to have a greater esteem for himself than for anyone else, inspires in men all the harm they do to one another, and is the true source of honor. This being well understood, I say that in our primitive state, in the genuine state of Nature, amour-propre does not exist; for each particular man regarding himself as the sole Spectator to observe him, as the sole being in the universe to take an interest in him, and as the sole judge of his own merit, it is not possible that a sentiment having its source in comparisons he is not capable of making could spring up in his soul. For the same reason this man could have neither hate nor desire for revenge, passions that can arise only from the opinion that some offense has been received; and as it is scorn or intention to hurt and not the harm that constitutes the offense, men who know neither how to evaluate themselves nor compare themselves can do each other a great deal of mutual violence when they derive some advantage from it, without ever offending one another. In a word, every man, seeing his fellows hardly other wise than he would see Animals of another species, can carry off the prey of the weaker or relinquish his own to the stronger, without considering these plunderings as anything but natural events, without the slightest emotion of insolence or spite, and with no other passion than the sadness or joy of a good or bad outcome.