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Emile: Or, On Education by Jean-Jacques…

Emile: Or, On Education (original 1762; edition 1979)

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Allan Bloom (Translator)

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Title:Emile: Or, On Education
Authors:Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Other authors:Allan Bloom (Translator)
Info:Basic Books (1979), Paperback, 501 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:french literature, novel, bildungsroman, education

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Emile, or On Education by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762)



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Rosseau really did think that Nature could do anything (capitalisation his not mine) up to and including showing how males and females should grow and be educated. Certainly an understandable desire considering the time he lived. The education of Sophie, Emile's wife, was only a small part of the book and I am thankful as this was my least favourite section and showed its age the most. ( )
1 vote kale.dyer | Nov 19, 2016 |
Rousseau's treatise on education, 1762, where he takes his pupil, Emile, into the countryside of Savoy, far from civilization, and lets Nature teach him
1 vote stanjanmoore | Jan 14, 2016 |
As one of the earliest, systematic attempts at developing a framework for educating children, *Emile* highlights the timeless question that faces every parent and teacher: what do *I* believe are the most important truths to pass on? To teach another is to define one's own priorities and hierarchies of values. In this sense, education is inherently and unavoidably philosophical -- it is a de facto triage of importance.

*Emile* is classic Rousseau. His devotion to reason as the highest value and his belief in the power of observation and nature to lead us to truth carry a familiar ring in our world -- a world largely shaped by the Enlightenment in which he and others were integral players. At the same time, Rousseau's idea about women and their roles in society can, to us, be as offensive as they are anachronistic.

This is a profoundly provocative read for every parent and teacher. While very little in here is particularly relevant to the contemporary education systems of modern, developed countries, Rousseau is wholly preoccupied with a more fundamental question: what kind of people do we hope our students become? If we respond, "We want our children to grow into adults who can think for themselves and act as autonomous, free-thinking agents in the world," Rousseau will retort: "Then why are you so preoccupied with making them parrot back your answers and with forcing them to obey your curriculum? Isn't this implicitly training them to be just exactly the *opposite* of what you want them to become?"
1 vote jamesshelley | Nov 22, 2015 |
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 a lot of eminently quotable passages. Certainly I can understand why the French adore some of Rousseau's ideas about education.

But even if one can get past the irony of Rousseau the child-abandoner writing (in very smug tones!) how the young ought to be raised and educated, there's the little fact that he was sexist above and beyond the call of duty. The thoughts on education that the French praise to the skies are all thoughts on the education of boys. When he does bother to mention girls, he stresses that their education ought to lie in teaching them how to be utterly submissive and obedient. Because if you're nice enough to that wife-beater your parents married you off to, he'll stop hitting you. And if he doesn't stop hitting you, well, I guess you weren't nice enough.

The fact that I'm paraphrasing shouldn't lead you to conclude that I'm exaggerating.

Yes, I know Rousseau lived and died in the eighteenth century. So did Mary Wollstonecraft.

So: Read this if you're interested in French history, the history of education, or Rousseau's bizarre life. And don't be fooled by the many people who refer to this book as a novel. It isn't. It's a work in which Rousseau presents his ideas about education, and at a certain point, says, "Let's pretend I was hired to be the tutor of a young man -- say his name is Emile. Here's what that might be like, and here are some conversations I can imagine having with this boy." Rousseau never claimed to be writing a novel. He simply alternates between the autobiographical and the hypothetical.

( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
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. ( )
1 vote ted_newell | Jun 20, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (48 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean-Jacques Rousseauprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bloom, AllanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gispert, MontserratTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moreau, Jean-MichelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Richard, FrançoisEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Richard, PierreEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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God makes all things good; man meddles with them and they become evil.
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"La lecture est le fléau de l'enfance".

"L'homme qui a le plus vécu n'est pas celui qui a compté le plus d'années, mais celui qui a le plus senti la vie".

"Respectez l'enfance, et ne vous pressez point de la juger, soit en bien, soit en mal".
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465019315, Paperback)

Alan Bloom’s new translation of Emile, Rousseau’s masterpiece on the education and training of the young, is the first in more than seventy years. In it, Bloom, whose magnificent translation of Plato’s Republic has been universally hailed as a virtual rediscovery of that timeless text, again brings together the translator’s gift for journeying between two languages and cultures and the philosopher’s perception of the true meaning and significance of the issues being examined in the work. The result is a clear, readable, and highly engrossing text that at the same time offers a wholly new sense of the importance and relevance of Rousseau’s thought to us.In addition to his translation, Bloom provides a brilliant introduction that relates the structure and themes of the book to the vital preoccupation's of our own age, particularly in the field of education, but also more generally to the current concerns about the limits and possibilities of human nature. Thus in this translation Emile, long a classic in the history of Western thought and educational theory, becomes something more: a prescription, fresh and dazzling, for the bringing up of autonomous, responsible—that is, truly democratic—human beings.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:08 -0400)

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A classic in the history of Western thought and educational theory for the development of autonomous, responsible human beings.

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