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Its is a hypothetical character (a fictional child) orphan that Rousseau uses for grounds to base a philosophical education best described as child-centered progressive education. This type of education is largely "centered" around the child's learning capacity, their enviroment and how to explain adult ideas, through examples in the child's world. But its more than that, it also teach us about ourselves. It explains why every government that has ever existed, has educated its people to be nothing more than workers. Living for nothing more than to serve other, and live a meaningless existence. Below is a exerp for Emile: "Good social instutions are those best fitted to make a man un-natural, to exchange his independence for dependence, to merge the unit into the group, so that he no longer regards himself as one, but as part of the whole." he continues "He who would preserve the supremacy of natural feelings in social life knows not what he asks. Ever at war with himself, hesitating between his wishes and his duties, he will be neither man nor citizen. He will be of no use to himself nor to others. He will be a man of our day, a Frenchman, a Englishman, one of the great middle class." In the end though, it appears that Rousseau considers only one type of education to be the right path. "There remains the education of the home or of nature; but how will man live with others if he is to be educated for himself alone? If the twofold aim could be resolved into one by removing the man's self contradiction, one great obstacle to his happiness would be gone. To judge of this you must see the man full-grown; you must have noted his inclinations, watched his progress, followed his steps; in a word you must really know a natural man. When you have read this work, I think you will made some progress into this inquiry."  

Review: Emile or On Education

User Review  - Deborah Markus - Goodreads

I read this book as research for a writing project of my own. Once finished, I had no idea how I ought to rate it. There is some brilliant writing here, and I highlighted some eminently quotable ... Read full review

Review: Emile or On Education

User Review  - Alex Milledge - Goodreads

I am delighted that I read a treatise on child development in my course of reading, and having it written by the flamboyant, precocious womanizing Rousseau. I agreed with him although his views on god ... Read full review

Review: Emile or On Education

User Review  - Ann - Goodreads

I read this book as a parent (so not as a fictional philosophical book, but more as a guide book to raising children). There are some wonderful insights (for example letting children be children, not ... Read full review

Review: Emile or On Education

User Review  - Musi Kilic - Goodreads

This book is dripping with outdated sexism, but that aside I agree with many of Rousseau's arguments. The main points I agreed with are: freedom, happiness, necessity and experience. Simply put Emile is supposed to grow up free, unspoiled, and learn through everyday events no just in a classroom. Read full review

Review: Emile or On Education

User Review  - Dominic - Goodreads

Reading this tome was an equally delightful and discomforting one, as a lover of literature, great ideas, and feminist egalitarianism. On one hand, it is obvious that Rousseau was a true visionary ... Read full review

Review: Emile or On Education

User Review  - Kristen - Goodreads

Blegh. Just Blegh. Not a fan of Rousseau. When it comes to 17th-18th century philosophers, it's all about John Locke. He is a much more concise and interesting author in my opinion. I blame Rousseau's ... Read full review

Review: Emile or On Education

User Review  - Clif - Goodreads

If we want to produce a good man, how would we go about it? That's the problem that Rousseau presents himself in Emile. In this lengthy work, no aspect of upbringing is overlooked. Starting with the ... Read full review

Review: Emile or On Education

User Review  - Mr. - Goodreads

A deceptively simple text. Rousseau has distanced himself from the Social Contract and the concept of the noble savage here, and has decided to illustrate the principles of an education that will ... Read full review

Review: Emile or On Education

User Review  - Leandra Cate - Goodreads

I read this book many years ago in French lit and felt it to be full of profound new thoughts. I recently realized I had never read it in translation and got an English copy. My translation seems to ... Read full review


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