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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  - Brian - Goodreads

Well, where to begin? The first thing that strikes me about the book is its length: this is LONG stuff. I was more inclined to like it at the beginning, but as it goes on the "narrative" element ... Read full review

Review: Emile: Or On Education

User Review  - Emile - Goodreads

Two objections are often made to this work: one about hypocrisy and one about misogyny. Both are misguided. Somewhere near the beginning of Book III, in a footnote to his wish that Émile not become a ... Read full review

Review: Emile: Or On Education

User Review  - Patrice - Goodreads

Rousseau is a romantic. He admitted that his early readings of romance novels stayed with him all his life. He was also a bit crazy. Hume, his friend, said he was always a bit mad but in old age he ... Read full review

Review: Emile: Or On Education

User Review  - Lynn - Goodreads

I believe it was good to read Emile or on Education as I am an educator and want to learn more about the history of education. I also think it is important to read a book by Enlightenment philosopher ... Read full review

Review: Emile: Or On Education

User Review  - Dannielle - Goodreads

Great book and still relevant in my opinion. I think society would be better off if we took his advice and raised our children ourselves instead of sending them off to daycare (or using midwives in ... Read full review

Review: Emile: Or On Education

User Review  - Tamar7 - Goodreads

A society is composed of citizens. If you want a strong and virtuous society, you must start at ground zero; with the citizen, with the child. This book by Rousseau is, in my mind, his epic ... Read full review


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