Emile

Front Cover
Dent, 1974 - Fiction - 444 pages
2 Reviews
"In his pioneering treatise on education the great French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) presents concepts that had a significant influence on the development of pedagogy in the eighteenth century, and yet many of his ideas still sound radical today. Written in reaction to the stultifying system of rote learning and memorization prevalent throughout Europe at the time, Emile is a utopian vision of child-centered education, full of the sentiments of Romanticism, a movement that Rousseau inspired." "Imagining a typical boy named Emile, Rousseau creates an ideal model of one-on-one tutelage from infancy to manhood with himself as the child's mentor. As in so many of his other famous works, here, too, Rousseau asserts his main thesis that human beings are by nature good; it is only the distorting influences of civilization that have corrupted them." "Educators as well as students of philosophy will find much to admire in Rousseau's still fresh and innovative ideas."--BOOK JACKET.

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User Review  - ted_newell - LibraryThing

Tough sledding but worth it. Rousseau is grandfather or even father of historicism, a true revolutionary. Now human history is us making ourselves, we think. My take is in my book Five Paradigms. Read full review

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User Review  - hbergander - LibraryThing

I am still fascinated by this book concerning the negative attitude, Rousseau adopts against his pupil in the question, how to deal with sexuality. The philosopher seems to be an early apologist of a repression which later on was generalised in the Victorianism. Read full review

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About the author (1974)

Jean Jacques Rousseau was a Swiss philosopher and political theorist who lived much of his life in France. Many reference books describe him as French, but he generally added "Citizen of Geneva" whenever he signed his name. He presented his theory of education in Emile (1762), a novel, the first book to link the educational process to a scientific understanding of children; Rousseau is thus regarded as the precursor, if not the founder, of child psychology. "The greatest good is not authority, but liberty," he wrote, and in The Social Contract (1762) Rousseau moved from a study of the individual to an analysis of the relationship of the individual to the state: "The art of politics consists of making each citizen extremely dependent upon the polis in order to free him from dependence upon other citizens." This doctrine of sovereignty, the absolute supremacy of the state over its members, has led many to accuse Rousseau of opening the doors to despotism, collectivism, and totalitarianism. Others say that this is the opposite of Rousseau's intent, that the surrender of rights is only apparent, and that in the end individuals retain the rights that they appear to have given up. In effect, these Rousseau supporters say, the social contract is designed to secure or to restore to individuals in the state of civilization the equivalent of the rights they enjoyed in the state of nature. Rousseau was a passionate man who lived in passionate times, and he still stirs passion in those who write about him today.

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