Reconsidering the roots of current perceptions: Saint Pierre, Helvetius and Rousseau on education and the individual

Tal Gilead*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Historians and philosophers of education tend to emphasise the contribution of Rousseau to the development of individualistic trends in modern education. However, other eighteenth-century thinkers also took part in the quest to bring the individual and his happiness to the centre of contemporary educational discourse. The work of some of these thinkers, although highly influential in the time of its publication, has been neglected and consequently forgotten. This article examines the place attributed to the individual in the educational works of two of the most prominent of these thinkers, Castel de Saint Pierre (1658-1743) and Claude Adrian Helvetius (1715-1771). In this article, it is argued that Saint Pierre and Helvetius' perception of the individual's place in education is closer to contemporary views than the one found in Rousseau.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)427-439
Number of pages13
JournalHistory of Education
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2005

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