The definitive translation of Rousseau’s Emile, a foundational text in the philosophy of education
Widely hailed as the most accessible and authoritative edition of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile, or On Education, this acclaimed translation by bestselling author Alan Bloom elevates what Rousseau considered to be the “best and most important” of his published writing into something more: a prescription, fresh and dazzling, for the education of autonomous, responsible—and truly democratic—human beings. Initially published in 1763 at the height of the Enlightenment, Emile articulates Rousseau’s philosophy of education through the novelistic device of a fictional tutor’s encounters with his pupil from infancy to adolescence, illustrating how ideal citizens can be raised to survive in a corrupt society.
In addition to his translation of this classic of Enlightenment philosophy, Bloom offers an incisive introduction that connects the structure and themes of Rousseau’s book to timeless questions about teaching children which have persisted in the field of education, helping readers understand how to implement the philosopher’s broader insights into the possibilities—and limitations—of human nature.
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