Lyon dissertation no. 17. MS

Title Lyon dissertation no. 17. MS
Date 1785 - 1787
Type Academic prize contest entry
Physical Description Bibliothèque de l'Académie de Lyon, MS 237-4, ff. 287-303.
Language French
Content Advice on educational benefits of travel
Moral considerations of travel
NotesThis dissertation was heavily condemned for its empty declamations by the reviewer of the contest - it features inded statements such as 'Travel is the book of nature itself, written with indelible and immortel letters'. The work features many crossed-out sections, corrections as well as spelling and grammatical errors.

The anonymous author believes that travel deserves its place within an education because it fulfills the three functions of a useful component: it serves the body, the mind and the heart of the traveller. For the body, it can counter the negative effects of an 'effeminate' education, gives back its vigor and dynamism; the change of air and climate improves the body. For the mind, they improve memory, enrich imagination and better judgment.

Travel appears as the very example of an active education: "See this young man who, in order to learn geography, history, physics and the languages, so far languished in disgust upon a pile of elementary books. These studies left in his mind but a vague and imperfect impression of complicated principles, dry rules, vague opinions, notions without an object, minutious and isolated facts..." But once he sets off on travels, all these elements find their application.

A section of the essay is devoted to the travelling of royal princes but, as the reviewer highlighted, this is not properly within the topic of the contest.