Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Émile, ou de l'education [Emile]

(2879 words)
  • Laurence Mall (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign )

The Genevan philosophe Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) considered Emile or On Education, composed in the 1750s and published in 1762, as “the best of [his] writings, as well as the most important” (Rousseau, 1995, p. 480). It ranks among the great works concerning the philosophy of education, regularly grouped with such classics as Plato’s Republic and John Locke’s Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693). But this masterpiece is also an influential work in other disciplines: it is a study in philosophical anthropology, a significant piece of social criticism, as well as a very strange quasi-novel. Its influence was considerable, and it continues to offer stimulating intellectual challenges to …

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Mall, Laurence. "Émile, ou de l'education". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 September 2011
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]