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being followed when he demands that the moral notions of
right and wrong have their first source in the feelings of sym-
pathy and social benevolence, on the supposition that accord-
ing to his system he can inspire Emile with such feelings.



ROUSSEAU AND THE EMILE. 303

" We enter, finally, the domain of morals," lie says. " If
this were the place for it, I would show how from the first
emotions of the heart arise the first utterances of the con-
science, and how, from the first feelings of love and hate
arise the first notions of good and evil. I would make it
appear that justice and goodness are not merely abstract
terms, conceived by the understanding, but real affections
of the soul enlightened by the reason."

Yes ; let the child be made to make his way gradually
towards a severe morality, sanctioned by the reason, in
having him pass through the gentle emotions of the heart.
Nothing can be better. But this is to be done on one condi-
tion : this is, that we shall not stop on the way, and that the
vague inspirations of the sensibilities shall be succeeded by
the exact prescriptions of the reason. Now Rousseau, as
we know, was never willing to admit that virtue was anything
else than an affair of the heart. His ethics is wholly an
ethics of sentiment.

332. Religious Education. — We know the reasons which
determined Rousseau to delay till the sixteenth or eighteenth
year the revelation of religion. It is that the child, with his
sensitive imagination, is necessarily an idolater. If we
speak to him of God, he can form but a superstitious idea of
him. "Now," says Rousseau, pithily, "when the imagina-
tion has once seen God, it is very rare that the understanding]
conceives him." In other terms, once plunged in supersti-
tion, the mind of the child can never extricate itself from it.
We must then wait, in the interest of religion itself, till the
child have sufficient maturity of reason and sufficient power
of thought to seize in its truth, divested of every veil of
sense, the idea of God, whose existence is announced to him
for the first time.



304 THE HISTORY OF PEDAGOGY.

It is difficult to justify Rousseau. First, is it not to be
feared that the child, if he has reached his eighteenth year in
ignorance of God, ma}' find it wholly natural to be ignorant
of him still, and that he reason and dispute at random with
his teacher, and that he doubt instead of believe? And if
he allows himself to be convinced, is it not at least evident
that the religious idea, tardily inculcated, will have no pro-
found hold on his mind? On the other hand, will the child,
with his instinctive curiosity, wait till his eighteenth year to
inquire the cause of the universe? Will he not form the
notion of a God in his own way ?

" One might have read, a few years ago," says Villemain,
k 'the account, or rather the psychological confession, of a
writer (Sentenis) , a German philosopher, whom his father
had submitted to the experiment advised by the author of
Emile. Left alone by the loss of a tenderly loved wife, this
father, a learned and thoughtful man, had taken his infant
son to a retired place in the country ; and not allowing him
communication with any one, he had cultivated the child's
intelligence through the sight of the natural objects placed
near him, and by the study of the languages, almost without
books, and in carefully concealing from him all idea of God.
The child had reached his tenth year without having either
read or heard that great name. But then his mind found
what had been denied it. The sun which he saw rise each
morning seemed the all-powerful benefactor of whom he felt
the need. He soon formed the habit of going at dawn to the
garden to pay homage to that god that he had made for
himself. His father surprised him one day, and showed him
his error by teaching him that all the fixed stars are so many
suns distributed in space. But such was then the disap-
pointment and the grief of the child deprived of his worsh'o,



ROUSSEAU AND THE EMLLE. 305

that the father, overcome, acknowledged to him that there
was a God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth." 1

333. The Savoyard Vicar's Profession of Faith. —
Rousseau has at least attempted to retrieve, by stately lan-
guage and an impassioned demonstration of the existence of
God, the delay which he has spontaneously imposed on his
pupil.

The Savoyard Vicar's Profession of Faith is an eloquent
catechism on natural religion, and the honest expression of a
sincere and profound deism. The religion of nature is evi-
dently the only one which, in Rousseau's system, can be
taught, and ought to be taught, to the child, since the child is
exactly the pupil of nature. If Emile wishes to go beyond
this, if he needs a positive religion, this shall be for himself
to choose.

334. Sophie and the Education of "Women. — The weak-
est part of the Emile is that which treats of the education of
woman. This is not merely because Rousseau, with his
decided leaning towards the romantic, leads Emile and his
companion into odd and extraordinary adventures, but it is
especially because he misconceives the proper dignity of
woman. Sophie, the perfect woman, has been educated only
to complete the happiness of Emile. Her education is wholly
relative to her destiny as a wife.

"The whole education of women should be relative to men ;
to please them, to be useful to them, to make themselves
honored and loved by them, to educate the young, to care for
the older, to advise them, to console them, to make life agree-
able and sweet to them, — these are the duties of women in
every age."

1 Report of Villemain on the work of the Pere Girard (1844).



306 THE HISTOKY OF PEDAGOGY.

"Sophie," says Greard, " has but virtues of the second
order, virtues of conjugal education." It has been said that
marriage is a second birth for man, that he rises or falls
according to the choice which he makes. For woman, ac-
cording to the theory of Rousseau, it is the true advent into
life. According to the expressive formula of Michelet, who,
in a sentence, has given a marvellous summary of the doc-
trine, but in attaching to it a sense which poetizes it, " the
husband creates the wife." Sophie, up to the day of her
marriage, did not exist. She had learned nothing and read
nothing " except a Bareme and a Telemaque which have
chanced to fall into her hands." She has been definitely
admonished, "that were men sensible, every lettered girl
will remain a girl." It is Emile alone who is to instruct her,
and he will instruct her and mould her into his own ideal,
and in conformity to his individual interest.

While it was only in his youth that he received the first
principles of the religious feeling, Sophie must be penetrated
with it from infancy, in order that she may early form the
habit of submission. He commands and she obeys, the first
duty of the wife being meekness. If, during her youth, she
has freely attended banquets, amusements, balls, the theatre,
it is not so much to be initiated into the vain pleasures of
the world, under the tutelage of a vigilant mother, as to be-
long, once married, more fully to her home and to her
husband. She is nothing except as she is by his side, or as
dependent on him, or as acting through him. Strange and
brutal paradox, which Rousseau, it is true, corrects and
repairs in detail, at every moment by the most happy and
charming inconsistencies."

Sophie, briefly, is an incomplete person whom Rousseau is
not careful enough to educate for herself.

In her subordinate and inferior position, the cares of the



ROUSSEAU AND THE EMILE. 307

household occupy the largest place. She cuts aud makes
her own dresses : —

" What Sophie knows best, aud what was taught her with
most care, is the work of her sex. There is uo needle-work
which she does not know how to make."

It is not forbidden her, but is even recommended that she
introduce a certain coquetry into her employments : —

"The work she loves the best is lace-making, because
there is no other that gives her a more agreeable attitude,
and in which the fingers are used with more grace and
deftness."

She carries daintiness a little too far : —

tw She does not love cooking ; its details have some disgust
for her. She would sooner let the whole dinner go into the
fire than to soil her cnffs."

Truly this is fine housewifery ! We feel that we have here
to do with a character in a romance who has no need to dine.
Sophie would nut have been well received at Saint Cyr, where
Madame de Mainteuon so severely scolded the "iris who were
too fastidious, " fearing smoke, dust, and disagreeable odors,
even to making complaints and grimaces on their account as
though all were lost."

335. General Conclusion. — In order to form a just esti-
mate of the Emile, it is necessary to put aside the impressions
left by the reading of the last pages. We must consider as
a whole, and without taking details into account, that work,
which, notwithstanding all, is very admirable and profound.
It is injured by analysis. To esteem the Emile at its real
worth, it must be read entire. In reading it, in fact, we are
warmed by contact with the passion which Rousseau puts into
whatever he writes. We pardon his errors and chimeras by
reason of the grand sentiments and the grand truths which
we meet at even - step. We must also take into account the



308 THE HISTORY OF PEDAGOGY.

time when Rousseau lived, aud the conditions under which he
wrote. We have not a doubt that had it been written thirty
years later, in the dawn of the Revolution, for a people who
were free, or who desired to be free, the Emile would have
been wholly different from what it is. Had he been working
for a republican society, or for a society that wished to become
such, Rousseau would not have thrown himself, out of
hatred for the realit}-, into the absurdities of an over-spe-
cialized and exceptional education. We can judge of what
he would have done as legislator of public instruction in the
time of the Revolution, by what he wrote in his Considerations
on the Government of Poland : —

" National education belongs only to people who are
free. ... It is education which is to give to men the national
mould, and so to direct their opinions and their tastes that
they will become patriots by inclination, by passion, and by
necessity" (we would only add, by duty). "A child, in
opening his eyes, ought to see his country and nothing but
his country. Every true republican, along with his mother's
milk, will imbibe love of country, that is, of law and liberty.
This love constitutes his whole existence. He sees but his
country, he lives but for her. So soon as he is alone, he is
nothing ; so soon as there is no more of country, he is no
more. . . . While learning to read, I would have a child of
Poland read what relates to his country ; at the age of ten, I
would have him know all its productions ; at twelve, all its
provinces, all its roads, all its cities ; at fifteen, the whole of
its history ; and at sixteen, all its laws ; and there should not
be in all Poland a notable deed or an illustrious man, of which
his memory and his heart were not full."

336. Influence of the Emile. — That which proves
better than any commentary can the high standing of the
Emile, is the success which it has obtained, the influence






ROUSSEAU AND THE EMILE. 309

which it has exerted, both in France and abroad, and the
durable renown attested by so many works designed, either
to contradict it, to correct it, or to approve it and to dis-
seminate its doctrines. During the twenty-five years that
followed the publication of the Emile, there appeared in the
French language twice as many books on education as dur-
ing the first sixty years of the century. Rousseau, besides
all that he said personally which was just and new, had the
merit of stimulating minds and of preparing through his
impulsion the rich educational harvest of this last one hun-
dred years.

To be convinced of this, it suffices to read this judgment
of Kant : —

" The first impression which a reader who does not read
for vanity or for killing time derives from the writings of
Rousseau, is that this writer unites to an admirable penetra-
tion of genius a noble inspiration and a soul full of sensi-
bility, such as has never been met with in any other writer,
in any other time, or in any other country. The impression
which immediately follows this, is that of astonishment
caused by the extraordinary and paradoxical thoughts which
he develops. ... 1 ought to read and re-read Rousseau,
till tin' beauty of his style no more affects me. It is only
then that I can adjust my reason to judge of him."

[337. Analytical Summary. — 1. The study of the Emile
exhibits, in a very striking manner, the contrast between the
respective agencies of art and nature in the work of educa-
tion, and also the power of sentiment as a motor to ideas.

2. What Monsieur Compayre has happily called Rous-
seau's " misuse of the principle of nature" marks a recoil
against the artificial and fictitious state of society and opinion
in France in the eighteenth century. In politics, in religion,
and in philosophy, there was the domination of authority, and



310 THE HISTORY OF PEDAGOGY.

but a small mai'gin was left for the exercise of freedom,
versatility, and individual initiative ; while education was
administered rather as a process of manufacture, than of
regulated growth.

3. The conception that the child, by his very constitution,
is predetermined, like plants and animals, to a progressive
development quite independent of artificial aid, easily degen-
erates into the hypothesis that the typical education is a
process of spontaneous growth.

4. The error in this hypothesis is that of exaggeration or
of disproportion. Education is neither a work of nature
alone, nor of art alone, but is a natural process, supple-
mented, controlled, and perfected by human art. What
education would become when abandoned wholly to " nature "
may be seen in the state of a perfected fruit which has been
allowed to revert to its primitive or natural condition.

5. Man is distinguished from all other creatures by the
fact that he is not the victim of his environment, but is en-
dowed with the power to control his environment, almost to
re-create it, and so to rise superior to it. This ability gives
rise to human art, which is a coordinate factor with nature
in the work of education.

G. This convenient fiction of "Nature," conceived as an
infallible and incomparable guide in education, has intro-
duced countless errors into educational theory ; and Miss E. R.
Sill is amply justified in saying that "probably nine-tenths
of the popular sophistries on the subject of education, would
be cleared away by clarifying the word Nature." 1

7. In spite of its paradoxes, its exaggerations, its over-
wrought sentiment, and florid declamation, the Emile, in its
general spirit, is a work of incomparable power and of per-
ennial value.]

1 Atlantic Monthly, February, 1883, p. 178.



CHAPTER XIV.

THE PHILOSOPHERS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. —
CONDILLAC, DIDEROT, HELVETIUS, AND KANT.

THE PHILOSOPHERS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY; CONDILLAC (1715-
1780); ABUSE OF THE PHILOSOPHIC SPIRIT J MUST WE REASON
WITH CHILDREN? PRELIMINARY LESSONS; THE ART OF THINK-
ING ; OTHER PARTS OF THE COURSE OF STUDY ; PERSONAL
REFLECTION ; EXCESSES OF DEVOTION CRITICISED J DIDEROT (1713-
1784); HIS PEDAGOGICAL WORKS J HIS QUALITIES AS AN EDUCA-
TOR J NECESSITY OF INSTRUCTION J IDEA OF A SYSTEM OF PUBLIC
INSTRUCTION; CRITICISM OF FRENCH colleges; proposed RE-
FORMS ; PREFERENCE FOR THE SCIENCES ; INCOMPLETE VIEWS
ON THE PROVINCE OF LETTERS J OPINION OF MARMONTEL J OTHER
NOVELTIES OF DIDEROT'S PLAN J HELVETIUS (1715-1771) J PARADOXES
OF THE TREATISE ON MAN ; REFUTATION OF HELVETIUS BY
DIDEROT; INSTRUCTION SECULARIZED; THE ENCYCLOPAEDISTS; KANT
(1724-1804); HIGH CONCEPTION OF EDUCATION; PSYCHOLOGICAL OP-
TIMISM; RESPECT FOR THE LIBERTY OF THE CHILD; CULTURE OF
THE FACULTIES; STORIES INTERDICTED J DIFFERENT KINDS OF
PUNISHMENT ; RELIGIOUS EDUCATION ; ANALYTICAL SUMMARY.



338. The Philosophers of the Eighteenth Century. —
If there has been considerable progress made in education in
the eighteenth century, it is clue, in great part, to the efforts
of the philosophers of that age. It is no longer alone the
men who are actually engaged in the schools that are pre-
occupied with education ; but nearly all the illustrious
thinkers of the eighteenth century have discussed these great
questions with more or less thoroughness. The subject is
far from being exhausted by the study of Rousseau. Besides
the educational current set in movement by the Emile, the
other philosophers of that period, in their isolated and hide-



312 THE HISTORY OF PEDAGOGY.

pendent march, left original routes which it remains to fol-
low. From out their errors and conceptions of systems there
emerge some new outlooks and some definite truths.

339. Condillac (1715-1780). — An acute and ingenious
psychologist, a competitor and rival of Locke in philosophy,
Condillac is far from having the same authority in matters
pertaining to education ; but still there is profit to be derived
from the reading of his Course of Study, which includes not
less than thirteen volumes. This important work is a collec-
tion of the lessons which he had composed for the education
of the infant Ferdinand, the grandson of Louis XV., and
heir of the dukedom of Parma, whose preceptor he became
in 1757.

340. Abuse of the Philosophic Spirit. — It is certainly
a matter of congratulation that the philosophical spirit is
entering more and more largely into the theories of educa-
tion, and there would be only words of commendation for
Condillac had he restricted himself to this excellent declara-
tion, that pedagogy is nothing if it is not a deduction from
psychology. But he does not stop there, but with an indis-
cretion that is to be regretted, he arbitrarily transports into
education certain philosophical principles which it is not
proper to apply to the art of educating men, whatever may
be their theoretical truth ; thus Condillac, having established
the natural order of the development of the sciences and the
arts in the histoiy of humanity, presumes to impose the same
law of progress upon the child.

" The method which I have followed does not resemble the
usual manner of teaching ; but it is the very way in which
men were led to create the arts and the sciences." l

1 Discours preliminaire sur la grammaire, in the (Euvres completes of
Condillac, Tome VI. p. 264.






PHILOSOPHERS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. 313

In other terms, the child must do over again, on his own
account, " that which the race has done." He must be com-
pelled to follow, step by step, in its long gropings, the slow
progress made by the race. 1

There is, doubtless, an element of truth in the error of
Condillac. The sciences and the arts began with the obser-
vation of particulars, and thence slowly rose to general prin-
ciples ; and to-day no one thinks of denying the necessity of
proceeding in the same manner in education, so far as this is
possible. It is well at the first to present facts to the child,
and to lead him step by step, from observation to observation,
to the law which governs them and includes them ; but there is
a wide distance between the discreet use of the inductive and
experimental method, and the exaggerations of Condillac.
No one should seriously think of absolutely suppressing the
synthetic method of exposition, which, taking advantage of
the work accomplished through the centuries, teaches at the
outset the truths that have been already acquired. It would
be absurd to compel the child painfully to recommence the
toil of the race. 2



1 This is also the main principle in Mr. Spencer's educational philosophy.
"The education of the child must accord both in mode and arrangement
with the education of mankind as considered historically ; or, in other
words, the genesis of knowledge in the individual must follow the same
course as the genesis of knowledge in the race." — Education, p. 122. (P.)

2 The general law of human progress is inheritance supplemented by
individual acquisition. Using the symbols i (inheritance) and « (acqui-
sition), the progress of the race from its origin upwards, through successive
generations, may be exhibited by this series: i; i + a; i (2a) + a; i (3 a) +a;
i'(4a)+a. If the factor of inheritance could be eliminated, as Condillac
and Spencer recommend, the series would take this form: a'; a"; a'";
a iv : n v : the successive increments in acquisition being due to successive
increments in power gained through heredity. But, happily, the law of in-
heritance cannot be abrogated, and so philosophers write books in order to
save succeeding generations from the fate of Sisyphus. (P.)



314 THE HISTORY OF PEDAGOGY.

Graver still, Condillac, led astray by his love for philoso-
phizing, presumes to initiate the child, from the very begin-
ning of his studies, into psychological anabasis.

" The first thing to be done is to make the child acquainted
with the faculties of his soul, and to make him feel the need
of making use of them."

In other terms, the analysis of the soul shall be the first
object proposed to the reflection of the child. It is not
proposed to make him attentive, but to teach him what
attention is.

How can one seriously think of making of the child a little
psychologist, and of choosing as the first element of his edu-
cation the very science that is the most difficult of all, the
one which can be but the coronation of his studies?

341. Must we reason with Children? — Rousseau had
sharply criticised the famous maxim of Locke : ' ' We must
reason with children." Condillac tries to restore it to credit,
and for this purpose he invokes the pretended demonstra-
tions of a superficial and inexact psychology.

"It has been proved," he says, "that the faculty of
reasoning begins as soon as the senses commence to de-
velop ; and we have the early use of our senses only because
we early began to reason." Strange assertions, which are
disproved by the most elementary observation of the facts in
the case. Condillac here allows himself to be imposed upon
by his sensational psychology, the tendency of which is to
efface the peculiar character of the different intellectual
faculties, to derive them all from the senses, and, conse-
quently, to suppress the distance which separates a simple
sensation from the subtile, reflective, and abstract process
which is called reasoning. It cannot be admitted for a
single instant that the faculties of the understanding are, as
he says, "the same in the child as in the mature man."



PHILOSOPHERS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. 315

There is, doubtless, in the child a beginning of reasoning, a
sort of instinctive logic ; but this infantile reasoning can be
applied only to familiar objects, such as are sensible and
concrete. It were absurd to employ it on general and ab-
stract ideas.

342. Preliminary Lessons. — We shall quote, without
comment, the first subjects of instruction which, under the
title of Legons preliminaires, Condillac proposes to his
pupil: 1. the nature of ideas; 2. the operations of the
soul; 3. the habits; 4. the difference between the soul and
the body ; 5. the knowledge of God.

How are we to conceive that Condillac had the pretension
to place these high philosophical speculations within the
reach of a child of seven years who has not yet studied the
grammar of his native language ! How much better some
fables or historical narratives would answer his purpose !

But Condillac does not stop there. When his pupil has a
systematic knowledge of the operations of the soul, when
he has comprehended the genesis of ideas ; in a word, when,
towards the age of eight or ten, he is as proficient in philos-
ophy as his master, and almost as capable of writing the
Treatise on Sensations, what do you think he is invited to
study? Something which very much resembles the philoso-
phy of history : —

"After having made him reflect on his own infancy, I
thought that the infancy of the world would be the most
interesting subject for him, and the easiest to study."

343. The Art of Thinking. — It is only when he judges
that the mind of his pupil is sufficiently prepared by psycho-
logical analysis and by general reflections on the progress
of humanity, that Condillac decides to have him enter upon



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