Emilius and Sophia: or a New System of Education


Category: Philosophy/Politics

By Jean Jacques Rousseau

Published in 1767

Reference #1262-1265

Second Edition English. First published in 1762 in French, it is “regarded by some as the first philosophy of education in Western culture to have a serious claim to completeness.”

“The work tackles fundamental political and philosophical questions about the relationship between the individual and society – how, in particular, the individual might retain what Rousseau saw as innate human goodness while remaining part of a corrupting collectivity.”

“Rousseau seeks to describe a system of education that would enable the natural man he identifies in ‘The Social Contract’ (1762) to survive corrupt society. He employs the novelistic device of Emile and his tutor to illustrate how such an ideal citizen might be educated…The text is divided into five books: the first three are dedicated to the child Emile, the fourth to an exploration of the adolescent, and the fifth to outlining the education of his female counterpart Sophie, as well as to Emile’s domestic and civic life.”

Upon its publication, “‘Emile’ was banned in Paris and Geneva and was publicly burned in 1762.”

Works By Jean Jacques Rousseau