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Children of the state: Rousseau’s republican educational theory and child abandonment

Garrard, Graeme 2021. Children of the state: Rousseau’s republican educational theory and child abandonment. History of Education 50 (2) , pp. 147-160. 10.1080/0046760X.2020.1801863

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Abstract

Rousseau is among the most influential and important public moralists of the eighteenth century. His popular treatise on education, Emile, argues that parents should ideally rear their own children. It is small wonder, therefore, that his decision to place his own children in a foundling hospital has exposed Rousseau to the charge of hypocrisy and seriously damaged his credibility as a moralist and educational theorist. This article argues that this view is unfair. Only when his behaviour as a parent is put in the context of his theory of public education in its entirety, including works other than Emile, can a fair judgement be made about his treatment of his own children. Above all, it will be shown that Rousseau’s denial that he was a hypocrite is substantially correct and vitally important to the credibility of the new moral sensibility that was central to his theory of education.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools:
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
ISSN: 0046-760X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 August 2020
Date of Acceptance: 22 July 2020
Last Modified: 21 May 2022 03:34
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/134008

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