Rousseau's Emile

William H. Payne

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Editore: Forgotten Books
Formato: PDF
Testo in en
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Dimensioni: 24,33 MB
  • EAN: 9780259645528

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The significance of Rousseau in education as well as in politics must be found in his revolutionary attitude toward established institutions. Some of his biographers relate the story that when the Academy of Dijon, in 1749, offered a prize for an essay on the question whether the progress of the arts and sciences has tended to the purification of morals and manners, he followed the suggestion of Diderot, who reminded him of the greater notoriety which he could gain by advocating the negative side. He accordingly wrote an essay denouncing civilized life in such eloquent terms that he became at once famous as a censor of civilization. He found this line of authorship so flattering to his conceit and so well fitted to his mode of life, his habits of thought, and literary style, that he adopted it as a career, and attacked one after the other the existing foundations of civilization. The essay just named was published in 1750; that on the origin of inequality among men, in which he laid the axe to the root of the social system of Europe, in 1752; in 1762 he completed his raid against the political basis of government by his work on the social contract; his Nouvelle Heloïse appeared in 1760, sapping the ethics of the family relation; his Emile, in 1762, uproots whatever is traditional in education and religion.
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