Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Use Of Reason

1445 Words6 Pages
Immanuel Kant describes enlightenment as a man's release from self-imposed dependence which prevents the use of reason. He calls for society to undergo a restructuring of thought to achieve this use of reason. Other Enlightenment philosophers, like Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke call for more preventative measures to escape this dependence. They detail exhaustive programs of education beginning at the cradle to instill reason in man. Since a man is defined by his education, they say it is essential that a man may come to these qualities in the correct manner. Enlightenment philosophers including Rousseau, Locke, and Joseph Preistly argue that a proper education begun at youth, specifically focused on cultivating reason, is of the utmost…show more content…
During his education, the child is strictly governed by his parents or tutor, but this is to prepare him for independence. When he is grown, he should not have to rely on others, excluding the government, to command him because his reason should suffice. Rousseau is explicit with his priorities throughout Emile, "Life, health, reason and well-being ought to go ahead of everything" (367). Reason is equal with physical aspects of prosperity; it is even in line with life itself. He is saying that if a man is to value those four things above all else, the rest of his life will fall into place…show more content…
Rousseau and Locke outline detailed plans of education in order to attain this ideal of a man in possession of reason, who could be trusted with his own conduct. When a man is grown, he should exist independently in the world, capable of making his own decisions and caring for his health. The cultivation of reason leads to the cultivation of a quality man, so it is imperative that this occurs. If a man grows up without this education, he will be at a significant disadvantage and suffer from depending on things outside of himself, which will lead him astray. The Enlightenment philosophers develop their plans of education so carefully so to develop the most valuable quality of reason and produce enlightened

More about Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Use Of Reason

Open Document