Jean Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau. (1712 – 1778) The Emergence of Individual Freedom

Philosopher of the European Enlightenment. It was an important Swiss theorist who claims that the human being is naturally good but the social process corrupts him.

Anchored in a finalist thought, which oscillates between vices and virtues, defines the natural state of the human being as a virtue. Living in society, especially the educational institutions of the time, deprives him of his freedom and makes him vicious. It advocates for this the need to create a new human being, created in freedom according to the principles of nature. It would be freedom that allows one to develop one’s ability to judge good and bad.

His main work in the field of education, considered a founding work of European pedagogy is the book “Emilio, or Of Education” a written work 1762, which in his time was considered very advanced for challenging the existing norms. The book was even banned and burned for its anti-religious ideas. During the French Revolution the book underpins the creation of the French national education system.

Based on its natural philosophy and the foundations of freedom, it relates the individual to society. Its starting point is how can the individual retain his innate (natural) goodness without being corrupted by society. Rousseau proposes the development of an Education that allows the human being to live with the values ​​of freedom, influenced through his actions the transformation of the corrupt society.

In the book Emílio, the author develops a dialogue between the young person and his tutor, illustrating the ideal process of youth education. In this book we find advice on the education of children and youth. Divided into five parts, the first three are devoted to childhood, the fourth to adolescence, so that in the fifth and final book they will devote themselves to the education of “Sofia”, Emilio’s “ideal” future wife.

Paiva, Wilson Alves de (2011). Emílio, texto e contexto, publicado pela Revista Portuguesa de Pedagogia. https://impactum-journals.uc.pt/rppedagogia/article/view/1339

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