Rousseau: A Young Man Should Learn a Trade

As a father of several children he more or less abandoned, Jean-Jacques Rousseau did not follow his advice, but perhaps his work Emile describes his ideal and not his reality. Rousseau begins to describe the education of a pre-teen and teenage Emile, he opines on why a boy should learn a manly practical trade like carpentry, how to teach him compassion, and how to deal with the strong urge to mate too early. We begin to see how much Rousseau differs from Locke–he is not much interested in economic growth but personal self-sufficiency. Rousseau makes an argument for honor based on useful skills contributing to society instead of rank and privilege.

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