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      On pliability and progress: challenging current conceptions of eighteenth-century French educational thought

      research-article
      London Review of Education
      IOE Press
      PLIABILITY, PROGRESS, EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, EDUCATION, FRANCE, PHILOSOPHY
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            Abstract

            Examining the educational writings of three of the eighteenth-century's most innovative thinkers, the Abbé de Saint-Pierre, Morelly and Helvétius, this article challenges the currently accepted view that it was a belief in human pliability which gave rise to the contemporary groundbreaking faith in the power of education to improve society. The article delineates an intellectual process that culminated in the stance that man's innate behavioural tendencies are unalterable. It argues that, at least prior to Rousseau, the eighteenth-century faith in the power of education to improve society rested on a conviction that it is possible to beneficially direct man's fixed behavioural tendencies.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            10430
            London Review of Education
            IOE Press
            1474-8460
            01 July 2009
            : 7
            : 2
            : 101-112
            Article
            1474-8460(20090701)7:2L.101;1- s1.phd /ioep/clre/2009/00000007/00000002/art00001
            10.1080/14748460902990377
            89d8f710-4a87-4bca-a66f-d66dff75d161
            Copyright @ 2009
            History
            Categories
            Articles

            Education,Assessment, Evaluation & Research methods,Educational research & Statistics,General education
            PROGRESS,EIGHTEENTH CENTURY,PHILOSOPHY,FRANCE,EDUCATION,PLIABILITY

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