Lyon dissertation no. 1 MS

Title Lyon dissertation no. 1 MS
Date 1786
Type Academic prize contest entry
Physical Description Académie de Lyon, MS 237-3, f. 20-42.
Language French
Content Advice on educational benefits of travel
General discussion of the utility of travel
Moral considerations of travel
NotesChronologically the first among the dissertations that were submitted for the Lyon contest on travels. The jury considered it not entirely without merits, but focussing too little on question of travel, and too much on general criticisms of education. The author repeats accepted opinions on travel's merits: it allows the traveller to overcome national prejudices, and even the tiniest elements of observation may bring fruits for the traveller who is collecting knowledge like bees collect honey. The dissertation praises a 'natural' method for conducting travels, although fails to develop what this means. The idea of a 'natural method' is a clear reference to Rousseau's pedagogy, but goes against his opinions in the choice of the appropriate moment. It suggests that if travel comes in the moment of a nascent passion (as in 'Emile'), it will always remain a sacrifice, and not a useful practice.