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Rousseau's Philosophy (or Philosophies?) of Education

Peter M. Collins
The Irish Journal of Education / Iris Eireannach an Oideachais
Vol. 10, No. 2 (Winter, 1976), pp. 51-80
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30077246
Page Count: 30
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Rousseau's Philosophy (or Philosophies?) of Education
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Abstract

The complexity of Jean Jacques Rousseau becomes evident in the severe contrast within his views upon education. One of the central issues raised in his educational theory is the relationship between education for individuality and education for citizenship. Part of the foundation of this question lies quite obviously in social and political philosophy, more specifically, in matters pertaining to man and the state. In this paper Rousseau's theory of education is investigated with specific attention to his interest in forming the individual and the citizen. Some of the apparent contradictions are traced to their philosophical roots ( in Rousseau's own writings). The attempt to answer the question of whether Rousseau is propounding two distinct philosophies of education, or whether he did reconcile them appears to clarify somewhat the thrust of his thought in these matters. It also provides a partial explanation for the tremendous influence he has exerted on the modern mind. Rousseau addressed himself to a perennial philosophical-educational question. Even though he himself may not have provided a completely satisfactory response, his clarification of the difficulty, as well as his efforts to resolve it, apparently are still felt today.

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