Monday, July 24, 2023 - Thursday, July 27, 2023
Are humans naturally good? Do the practices and products of the arts and sciences tend to improve or worsen a person's character? How should an educator act in light of answers to these questions? In a number of places Rousseau put forth the provocative idea that education ought to aim to preserve a student's natural goodness against the corrupting influences of culture. To prepare properly to live in a complex, large-scale society is to forge an armor against its assaults on one's basically good character, at least according to him.
In this seminar we will explore the origins of this idea in Rousseau's work and wonder to what extent he has hit upon a first principle of education and, even if he hasn't, how educators can protect their pupils from harmful cultural influences, using Rousseau's First and Second Discourses as our guide.
Teachers will meet each day from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT to discuss the text in a small, interactive class led by St. John’s faculty. There is no cost.
Please register at: https://admissions.sjc.edu/register/Rousseau
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