Des monstres et d'un prodige: les commencements de l'Émile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay analyses the rhetorical and conceptual foundation of Emile, Rousseau's first-person treatise-novel of education. At the beginning of the book, after having portrayed social men as difformed and monstruous, Rousseau (the « I » author) creates a prodigy : the ideal educator who is... himself (the « I » educator). I examine the implications of this creation for the reader-pedagogue, and I conclude that, far from alleviating the aporia of the original natural educator, Rousseau's stratagem only serve to lock the text into a « prodigious » and ultimately closed fiction.
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)363-380
JournalRevue de Metaphysique et de Morale
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

Cite this