Thesis

Jean Jacques Rousseau; his philosophy of education

The following paper contains three major sections concerning the life and philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It is designed to offer the reader a brief but illustrative explanation of: (1) Rousseau's life, (2) Rousseau's social philosophy, and (3) Rousseau's educational philosophy. The third of these sections, concerning educational philosophy, will be the one which receives the major emphasis. The section containing biographical information, as well as the one containing information on social philosophy, are written so as to be relevant for educators. Within the conceptual scheme of education, there will be an emphasis on what Rousseau terms natural education, the explanation of which shall appear within the work. The paper is designed strictly as an historical narrative. Explanations of both Rousseau's terminology and methodology shall be offered, with documentation of both available. The structure of the section on educational philosophy is separated into chronological time periods, as done by Rousseau in his Emile. All of the sections shall contain information from the majority of Rousseau's works. The most referred to texts used in this paper were: (1) Emile, (2) La Nouvelle Heloise, (3) Social Contract, (4) Discourse on the Origin of Inequality; all of which were written by Rousseau.

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