The Anti-Emile

The Anti-Emile : Reflections on the Theory and Practice of Education Against the Principles of Rousseau

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The idea of translating Gerdil into English is brilliant, the translation is very good and the introduction of William Frank precise and inspiring. ...Rousseau proposes a complete break with tradition. A new man will arise who is severed from the whole heritage of the past. With him the history of mankind begins anew. In one sense we have here a transposition in the field of philosophy of education of the Cartesian cogito. The subject begins with himself. To this philosophical (and political) project Gerdil opposes the idea of tradition. We have not made ourselves. Our parents have procreated us. The parents do not only procreate their offspring, they also introduce them into the natural and social reality, that is they educate. No education is possible without a lively dialogue with history and society. Since the beginning man stands in a close relationship to others, is made for the human society. ...In these our times one form of modernity (that based largely on Rousseau) is collapsing and the mood of the day is an unclear postmodernity that in some of its versions could well be a return to barbarianism. All the more important is then that another form of modernity be rediscovered and brought to the attention of the American public. - Rocco Buttiglione, University of St. Pius V, RomeA timely translation of a compelling 18th century critique of Rousseau by the neglected Italian author, Hyacinth S. Gerdil (1718-1802). Gerdil's Anti-Emile may have been written as a critique of Rousseau's Emile, but it can equally be read as a critique of the philosophy embraced by the American educational establishment. Through the influence of John Dewey, Rousseau came to inform much of the educational theory regnant in the United States, with disastrous consequences, now acknowledge by nearly all.In a valuable preface to his translation, Professor Frank, drawing upon his experience both here and abroad, not only places Emile in context, but defends Gerdil's time-transcending, classical view of education against its modern detractors."Gerdil," Frank tells us, "addressed his Anti-Emile to elders responsible for education, be they parents, teachers, or political authorities, who might find themselves swayed by the powerful rhetoric of Rousseau's Emile." The same may be said of this translation and its informative prefatory material, for it is clearly a study that will be valued by anyone interested in principled education. - Jude P. Dougherty, Catholic University of AmericaCover image: "Adam and Eve" by Tintoretto. St. Augustine's Press acknowledges the kind permission granted by la Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice, for the use of the image. All rights reserved by la Scuola Grande di San Rocco.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 453.59g
  • St. Augustine's Press
  • United States
  • English
  • Translation
  • 1587310368
  • 9781587310362
  • 2,385,799

Back cover copy

A timely translation of a compelling 18th-century critique of Rousseau by the neglected Italian author, Hyacinth S. Gerdil (1718 1802). Gerdil s "Anti-Emile" may have been written as a critique of Rousseau s Emile, but it can equally be read as a critique of the philosophy embraced by the American educational establishment. Through the influence of John Dewey, Rousseau came to inform much of the educational theory regnant in the United States, with disastrous consequences now acknowledged by nearly all. In a valuable preface to his translation, Professor Frank, drawing upon his experience both here and abroad, not only places Emile in context, but defends Gerdil s time-transcending, classical view of education against its modern detractors. Gerdil, Frank tells us, addressed his Anti-Emile to elders responsible for education, be they parents, teachers, or political authorities, who might find themselves swayed by the powerful rhetoric of Rousseau s "Emile." The same may be said of this translation and its informative prefatory material, for it is clearly a study that will be valued by anyone interested in principled education. Jude P. Dougherty, Catholic University of America "show more