Herbert Spencer was an English philosopher, anthropologist and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era. Spencer developed an all-embracing conception of evolution as the progressive development of the physical world, biological organisms, the human mind, human culture and societies; as a polymath, he contributed to a wide range of subjects, including ethics, anthropology, political theory, literature, biology and psychology. During his lifetime he achieved tremendous authority in English-speaking academia. "The only other English philosopher to have achieved anything like such widespread popularity was Bertrand Russell, and, in the 20th century." Spencer was "the single most famous European intellectual in the closing decades of the nineteenth century" but his influence declined after 1900: "Who now reads Spencer?" asked Talcott Parsons in 1937. Spencer is best known for the expression "survival of the fittest", which he coined in Principles of Biology, after reading Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species.
This term suggests natural selection, yet as Spencer extended evolution into realms of sociology and ethics, he made use of Lamarckism. Spencer was born in England, on 27 April 1820, the son of William George Spencer. Spencer's father was a religious dissenter who drifted from Methodism to Quakerism, who seems to have transmitted to his son an opposition to all forms of authority, he ran a school founded on the progressive teaching methods of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi and served as Secretary of the Derby Philosophical Society, a scientific society, founded in 1783 by Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin. Spencer was educated in empirical science by his father, while the members of the Derby Philosophical Society introduced him to pre-Darwinian concepts of biological evolution those of Erasmus Darwin and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, his uncle, the Reverend Thomas Spencer, vicar of Hinton Charterhouse near Bath, completed Spencer's limited formal education by teaching him some mathematics and physics, enough Latin to enable him to translate some easy texts.
Thomas Spencer imprinted on his nephew his own firm free-trade and anti-statist political views. Otherwise, Spencer was an autodidact who acquired most of his knowledge from narrowly focused readings and conversations with his friends and acquaintances. Both as an adolescent and as a young man, Spencer found it difficult to settle to any intellectual or professional discipline, he worked as a civil engineer during the railway boom of the late 1830s, while devoting much of his time to writing for provincial journals that were nonconformist in their religion and radical in their politics. From 1848 to 1853 he served as sub-editor on the free-trade journal The Economist, during which time he published his first book, Social Statics, which predicted that humanity would become adapted to the requirements of living in society with the consequential withering away of the state, its publisher, John Chapman, introduced Spencer to his salon, attended by many of the leading radical and progressive thinkers of the capital, including John Stuart Mill, Harriet Martineau, George Henry Lewes and Mary Ann Evans, with whom he was romantically linked.
Spencer himself introduced the biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, who would win fame as'Darwin's Bulldog' and who remained his lifelong friend. However it was the friendship of Evans and Lewes that acquainted him with John Stuart Mill's A System of Logic and with Auguste Comte's positivism and which set him on the road to his life's work, he disagreed with Comte. The first fruit of his friendship with Evans and Lewes was Spencer's second book, Principles of Psychology, published in 1855, which explored a physiological basis for psychology; the book was founded on the fundamental assumption that the human mind was subject to natural laws and that these could be discovered within the framework of general biology. This permitted the adoption of a developmental perspective not in terms of the individual, but of the species and the race. Through this paradigm, Spencer aimed to reconcile the associationist psychology of Mill's Logic, the notion that human mind was constructed from atomic sensations held together by the laws of the association of ideas, with the more'scientific' theory of phrenology, which located specific mental functions in specific parts of the brain.
Spencer argued that both these theories were partial accounts of the truth: repeated associations of ideas were embodied in the formation of specific strands of brain tissue, these could be passed from one generation to the next by means of the Lamarckian mechanism of use-inheritance. The Psychology, would do for the human mind what Isaac Newton had done for matter. However, the book was not successful and the last of the 251 copies of its first edition was not sold until June 1861. Spencer's interest in psychology derived from a more fundamental concern, to establish the universality of natural law. In common with others of his generation, including the members of Chapman's salon, he was possessed with the idea of demonstrating that it was possible to show that everything in the universe – including human culture and morality – could be explained by laws of universal validity; this was in contrast to the views of many theologians of the time who insisted that some parts of creation, in particular the human soul, were beyond the realm of scientific investigation.
Comte's Système de Philosophie Po
Kieran Egan (educationist)
Kieran Egan is a contemporary educational philosopher and a student of the classics, cognitive psychology, cultural history. He has written on issues in education and child development, with an emphasis on the uses of imagination and the intellectual stages that occur during a person’s intellectual development, he has questioned the work of Jean Piaget and progressive educators, notably Herbert Spencer and John Dewey. He works at Simon Fraser University, his major work is The Educated Mind. Egan was born in 1942 in Clonmel Ireland, though he was educated in England, he graduated from the University of London with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1966. He subsequently worked as a research fellow at the Institute for Comparative Studies in Kingston upon Thames, he moved to the United States and began a Ph. D in the philosophy of education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Egan completed his Ph. D at Cornell University in 1972. Kieran Egan is the director of the Imaginative Education Research Group, founded by the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University.
The goal of this group is to improve education on a global scale by developing and proliferating the ideas of Imaginative Education 1976 Structural Communication. Fearon Publishers, Calif. ISBN 0-8224-6550-7 1979 Educational Development. Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN 0-19-502458-3 1983 Education and Psychology: Plato and Scientific Psychology. Teachers College Press, Columbia University, New York. ISBN 0-8077-2717-2 1988 Primary Understanding: Education in Early Childhood. Routledge, New York. ISBN 0-415-90003-4 1988 Imagination and Education. Teachers College Press, New York. ISBN 0-8077-2878-0 1989 Teaching as Story Telling: An Alternative Approach to Teaching and Curriculum in the Elementary School. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. ISBN 0-226-19031-5 1990 Romantic Understanding: The Development of Rationality and Imagination, Ages 8-15. Routledge, New York. ISBN 0-415-90050-6 1992 Imagination in Teaching and Learning: The Middle School Years. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. ISBN 0-226-19033-1 1997 The Educated Mind:.
University of Chicago Press, Chicago. ISBN 0-226-19036-6 1999 Children's Minds, Talking Rabbits & Clockwork Oranges: Essays on Education. Teachers College Press, New York. ISBN 0-8077-3808-5 2002 Getting it Wrong from the Beginning: Our Progressivist Inheritance from Herbert Spencer, John Dewey, Jean Piaget. Yale University Press, New Haven. ISBN 0-300-09433-7 2005 An Imaginative Approach to Teaching. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA. ISBN 0-7879-7157-X 2006 Teaching Literacy: Engaging the Imagination of New Readers and Writers. Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Calif. ISBN 1-4129-2788-9 2008 The Future of Education: Reimaging Our Schools from the Ground Up. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. ISBN 978-0-300-11046-3 2010 Learning in Depth: A Simple Innovation that Can Transform Schooling. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. ISBN 978-0-226-19043-3 1991: University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education 1993: Elected to the Royal Society of Canada 2000: Elected as Foreign Associate member of the National Academy of Education 2001: Killam Research Fellowship 2001: Appointed to a Canada Research Chair in Education 2010: Utne Reader magazine listed Egan as one of the "25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World."
Homepage Egan's profile at Simon Fraser University A brief guide to imaginative education
A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools; the names for these schools vary by country but include primary school for young children and secondary school for teenagers who have completed primary education. An institution where higher education is taught, is called a university college or university, but these higher education institutions are not compulsory. In addition to these core schools, students in a given country may attend schools before and after primary and secondary education. Kindergarten or pre-school provide some schooling to young children. University, vocational school, college or seminary may be available after secondary school. A school may be dedicated to one particular field, such as a school of economics or a school of dance. Alternative schools may provide nontraditional curriculum and methods.
There are non-government schools, called private schools. Private schools may be required. Other private schools can be religious, such as Christian schools, hawzas and others. Schools for adults include institutions of corporate training, military education and training and business schools. In home schooling and online schools and learning take place outside a traditional school building. Schools are organized in several different organizational models, including departmental, small learning communities, academies and schools-within-a-school; the word school derives from Greek σχολή meaning "leisure" and "that in which leisure is employed", but "a group to whom lectures were given, school". The concept of grouping students together in a centralized location for learning has existed since Classical antiquity. Formal schools have existed at least since ancient Greece, ancient Rome ancient India, ancient China; the Byzantine Empire had an established schooling system beginning at the primary level.
According to Traditions and Encounters, the founding of the primary education system began in 425 AD and "... military personnel had at least a primary education...". The sometimes efficient and large government of the Empire meant that educated citizens were a must. Although Byzantium lost much of the grandeur of Roman culture and extravagance in the process of surviving, the Empire emphasized efficiency in its war manuals; the Byzantine education system continued until the empire's collapse in 1453 AD. In Western Europe a considerable number of cathedral schools were founded during the Early Middle Ages in order to teach future clergy and administrators, with the oldest still existing, continuously operated, cathedral schools being The King's School, King's School, Rochester, St Peter's School and Thetford Grammar School. Beginning in the 5th century CE monastic schools were established throughout Western Europe, teaching both religious and secular subjects. Islam was another culture. Emphasis was put on knowledge, which required a systematic way of teaching and spreading knowledge, purpose-built structures.
At first, mosques combined both religious performance and learning activities, but by the 9th century, the madrassa was introduced, a school, built independently from the mosque, such as al-Qarawiyyin, founded in 859 CE. They were the first to make the Madrassa system a public domain under the control of the Caliph. Under the Ottomans, the towns of Bursa and Edirne became the main centers of learning; the Ottoman system of Külliye, a building complex containing a mosque, a hospital and public kitchen and dining areas, revolutionized the education system, making learning accessible to a wider public through its free meals, health care and sometimes free accommodation. In Europe, universities emerged during the 12th century. During the Middle Ages and much of the Early Modern period, the main purpose of schools was to teach the Latin language; this led to the term grammar school, which in the United States informally refers to a primary school, but in the United Kingdom means a school that selects entrants based on ability or aptitude.
Following this, the school curriculum has broadened to include literacy in the vernacular language as well as technical, artistic and practical subjects. Obligatory school attendance became common in parts of Europe during the 18th century. In Denmark-Norway, this was introduced as early as in 1739-1741, the primary end being to increase the literacy of the almue, i.e. the "regular people". Many of the earlier public schools in the United States and elsewhere were one-room schools where a single teacher taught seven grades of boys and girls in the same classroom. Beginning in the 1920s, one-room schools were consolidated into multiple classroom facilities with transportation provided by kid hacks and school buses; the use of the term school varies by country, as do the names of the various levels of education within the country
Philosophy of education
The philosophy of education examines the goals, forms and meaning of education. The term is used to describe both fundamental philosophical analysis of these themes and the description or analysis of particular pedagogical approaches. Considerations of how the profession relates to broader philosophical or sociocultural contexts may be included; the philosophy of education applied philosophy. For example, philosophers of education study what constitutes upbringing and education, the values and norms revealed through upbringing and educational practices, the limits and legitimization of education as an academic discipline, the relation between educational theory and practice. In universities, the philosophy of education forms part of departments or colleges of education. Date: 424/423 BC – 348/347 BC Plato's educational philosophy was grounded in a vision of an ideal'Republic wherein the individual was best served by being subordinated to a just society due to a shift in emphasis that departed from his predecessors.
The mind and body were to be considered separate entities. In the dialogues of Phaedo, written in his "middle period" Plato expressed his distinctive views about the nature of knowledge and the soul:When the soul and body are united nature orders the soul to rule and govern, the body to obey and serve. Now which of these two functions is akin to the divine? and which to the mortal? Does not the divine appear…to be that which orders and rules, the mortal to be that, subject and servant? On this premise, Plato advocated removing children from their mothers' care and raising them as wards of the state, with great care being taken to differentiate children suitable to the various castes, the highest receiving the most education, so that they could act as guardians of the city and care for the less able. Education would be holistic, including facts, physical discipline, music and art, which he considered the highest form of endeavor. Plato believed that talent was distributed non-genetically and thus must be found in children born in any social class.
He built on this by insisting that those suitably gifted were to be trained by the state so that they might be qualified to assume the role of a ruling class. What this established was a system of selective public education premised on the assumption that an educated minority of the population were, by virtue of their education, sufficient for healthy governance. Plato's writings contain some of the following ideas: Elementary education would be confined to the guardian class till the age of 18, followed by two years of compulsory military training and by higher education for those who qualified. While elementary education made the soul responsive to the environment, higher education helped the soul to search for truth which illuminated it. Both boys and girls receive the same kind of education. Elementary education consisted of music and gymnastics, designed to train and blend gentle and fierce qualities in the individual and create a harmonious person. At the age of 20, a selection was made.
The best students would take an advanced course in mathematics, geometry and harmonics. The first course in the scheme of higher education would last for ten years, it would be for those. At the age of 30 there would be another selection. After accepting junior positions in the army for 15 years, a man would have completed his theoretical and practical education by the age of 50. Date: 1724–1804 Immanuel Kant believed that education differs from training in that the former involves thinking whereas the latter does not. In addition to educating reason, of central importance to him was the development of character and teaching of moral maxims. Kant was a proponent of learning by doing. Date: 1770–1831 Date: 384 BC – 322 BC Only fragments of Aristotle's treatise On Education are still in existence. We thus know of his philosophy of education through brief passages in other works. Aristotle considered human nature and reason to be important forces to be cultivated in education. Thus, for example, he considered repetition to be a key tool to develop good habits.
The teacher was to lead the student systematically. Aristotle placed great emphasis on balancing the theoretical and practical aspects of subjects taught. Subjects he explicitly mentions as being important included reading and mathematics, he mentioned the importance of play. One of education's primary missions for Aristotle its most important, was to produce good and virtuous citizens for the polis. All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth. Date: 980 AD – 1037 AD In the medieval Islamic world, an elementary school was known as a maktab, which dates back to at least the 10th century. Like madrasahs, a maktab was attached to a mosque. In the 11th century, Ibn Sina, wrote a chapter dealing with the maktab entitled "The Role of the Teacher in the Training and Upbringing of Children", as a guide to teachers working at maktab schools, he wrote that children can learn better if taught in classes instead of individual tuition from private tutors, he gave a number of r
A joke is a display of humour in which words are used within a specific and well-defined narrative structure to make people laugh and is not meant to be taken seriously. It takes the form of a story with dialogue, ends in a punch line, it is in the punch line that the audience becomes aware that the story contains a second, conflicting meaning. This can be done using a pun or other word play such as irony, a logical incompatibility, nonsense, or other means. Linguist Robert Hetzron offers the definition: A joke is a short humorous piece of oral literature in which the funniness culminates in the final sentence, called the punchline… In fact, the main condition is that the tension should reach its highest level at the end. No continuation relieving the tension should be added; as for its being "oral," it is true that jokes may appear printed, but when further transferred, there is no obligation to reproduce the text verbatim, as in the case of poetry. It is held that jokes benefit from brevity, containing no more detail than is needed to set the scene for the punchline at the end.
In the case of riddle jokes or one-liners the setting is implicitly understood, leaving only the dialogue and punchline to be verbalised. However, subverting these and other common guidelines can be a source of humor—the shaggy dog story is in a class of its own as an anti-joke. Jokes are a form of humour; some humorous forms which are not verbal jokes are: involuntary humour, situational humour, practical jokes and anecdotes. Identified as one of the simple forms of oral literature by the Dutch linguist André Jolles, jokes are passed along anonymously, they are told in both public settings. Jokes are passed along in written form or, more through the internet. Stand-up comics and slapstick work with comic timing and rhythm in their performance, relying as much on actions as on the verbal punchline to evoke laughter; this distinction has been formulated in the popular saying. Any joke documented from the past has been saved through happenstance rather than design. Jokes do not belong to refined culture, but rather to the leisure of all classes.
As such, any printed versions were considered ephemera, i.e. temporary documents created for a specific purpose and intended to be thrown away. Many of these early jokes deal with scatological and sexual topics, entertaining to all social classes but not to be valued and saved. Various kinds of jokes have been identified in ancient pre-classical texts; the oldest identified joke is an ancient Sumerian proverb from 1900 BC containing toilet humour: "Something which has never occurred since time immemorial. Its records were dated to the Old Babylonian period and the joke may go as far back as 2300 BC; the second oldest joke found, discovered on the Westcar Papyrus and believed to be about Sneferu, was from Ancient Egypt circa 1600 BC: "How do you entertain a bored pharaoh? You sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile and urge the pharaoh to go catch a fish." The tale of the three ox drivers from Adab completes the three known oldest jokes in the world. This is a comic triple dating back to 1200 BC Adab.
The earliest extant joke book is the Philogelos, a collection of 265 jokes written in crude ancient Greek dating to the fourth or fifth century AD. The author of the collection is obscure and a number of different authors are attributed to it, including "Hierokles and Philagros the grammatikos", just "Hierokles", or, in the Suda, "Philistion". British classicist Mary Beard states that the Philogelos may have been intended as a jokester's handbook of quips to say on the fly, rather than a book meant to be read straight through. Many of the jokes in this collection are familiar though the typical protagonists are less recognisable to contemporary readers: the absent-minded professor, the eunuch, people with hernias or bad breath; the Philogelos contains a joke similar to Monty Python's "Dead Parrot Sketch". During the 15th century, the printing revolution spread across Europe following the development of the movable type printing press; this was coupled with the growth of literacy in all social classes.
Printers turned out Jestbooks along with Bibles to meet both lowbrow and highbrow interests of the populace. One early anthology of jokes was the Facetiae by the Italian Poggio Bracciolini, first published in 1470; the popularity of this jest book can be measured on the twenty editions of the book documented alone for the 15th century. Another popular form was a collection of jests and funny situations attributed to a single character in a more connected, narrative form of the picaresque novel. Examples of this are the characters of Rabelais in France, Till Eulenspiegel in Germany, Lazarillo de Tormes in Spain and Master Skelton in England. There is a jest book ascribed to William Shakespeare, the contents of which appear to both inform and borrow from his plays. All of these early jestbooks corroborate both the rise in the literacy of the European populations and the general quest for leisure activities during the Renaissance in Europe; the practice of printers to use jokes and cartoons as page fillers was widely used in the broadsides and chapbooks of the 19th century and earlier.
With the incr
William Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth's magnum opus is considered to be The Prelude, a semi-autobiographical poem of his early years that he revised and expanded a number of times, it was posthumously titled and published, before which it was known as "the poem to Coleridge". Wordsworth was Britain's poet laureate from 1843 until his death from pleurisy on 23 April 1850; the second of five children born to John Wordsworth and Ann Cookson, William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770 in what is now named Wordsworth House in Cockermouth, part of the scenic region in northwestern England known as the Lake District. William's sister, the poet and diarist Dorothy Wordsworth, to whom he was close all his life, was born the following year, the two were baptised together, they had three other siblings: the eldest, who became a lawyer. Wordsworth's father was a legal representative of James Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale and, through his connections, lived in a large mansion in the small town.
He was away from home on business, so the young William and his siblings had little involvement with him and remained distant from him until his death in 1783. However, he did encourage William in his reading, in particular set him to commit large portions of verse to memory, including works by Milton and Spenser. William was allowed to use his father's library. William spent time at his mother's parents' house in Penrith, where he was exposed to the moors, but did not get along with his grandparents or his uncle, who lived there, his hostile interactions with them distressed him to the point of contemplating suicide. Wordsworth was taught to read by his mother and attended, first, a tiny school of low quality in Cockermouth a school in Penrith for the children of upper-class families, where he was taught by Ann Birkett, who insisted on instilling in her students traditions that included pursuing both scholarly and local activities the festivals around Easter, May Day and Shrove Tuesday. Wordsworth was taught the Spectator, but little else.
It was at the school in Penrith that he met the Hutchinsons, including Mary, who became his wife. After the death of Wordsworth's mother, in 1778, his father sent him to Hawkshead Grammar School in Lancashire and sent Dorothy to live with relatives in Yorkshire, she and William did not meet again for another nine years. Wordsworth made his debut as a writer in 1787; that same year he began attending Cambridge. He received his BA degree in 1791, he returned to Hawkshead for the first two summers of his time at Cambridge, spent holidays on walking tours, visiting places famous for the beauty of their landscape. In 1790 he went on a walking tour of Europe, during which he toured the Alps extensively, visited nearby areas of France and Italy. In November 1791, Wordsworth visited Revolutionary France and became enchanted with the Republican movement, he fell in love with a French woman, Annette Vallon, who in 1792 gave birth to their daughter Caroline. Financial problems and Britain's tense relations with France forced him to return to England alone the following year.
The circumstances of his return and his subsequent behaviour raised doubts as to his declared wish to marry Annette, but he supported her and his daughter as best he could in life. The Reign of Terror left Wordsworth disillusioned with the French Revolution and the outbreak of armed hostilities between Britain and France prevented him from seeing Annette and his daughter for some years. With the Peace of Amiens again allowing travel to France, in 1802 Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy visited Annette and Caroline in Calais; the purpose of the visit was to prepare Annette for the fact of his forthcoming marriage to Mary Hutchinson. Afterwards he wrote the sonnet "It is a beauteous evening and free," recalling a seaside walk with the 9-year-old Caroline, whom he had never seen before that visit. Mary was anxious. Upon Caroline's marriage, in 1816, Wordsworth settled £30 a year on her, payments which continued until 1835, when they were replaced by a capital settlement; the year 1793 saw the first publication of poems by Wordsworth, in the collections An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches.
In 1795 he received a legacy of 900 pounds from Raisley Calvert and became able to pursue a career as a poet. It was in 1795 that he met Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Somerset; the two poets developed a close friendship. In 1797, Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy moved to Alfoxton House, just a few miles away from Coleridge's home in Nether Stowey. Together Wordsworth and Coleridge produced Lyrical Ballads, an important work in the English Romantic movement; the volume gave Coleridge's name as author. One of Wordsworth's most famous poems, "Tintern Abbey", was published in this collection, along with Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"; the second edition, published in 1800, had only Wordsworth listed as the author, included a preface to the poems. It was augmented in the next edition, pub
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political and educational thought, his Discourse on Inequality and The Social Contract are cornerstones in modern political and social thought. Rousseau's sentimental novel Julie, or the New Heloise was important to the development of preromanticism and romanticism in fiction, his Emile, or On Education is an educational treatise on the place of the individual in society. Rousseau's autobiographical writings—the posthumously published Confessions, which initiated the modern autobiography, the unfinished Reveries of a Solitary Walker —exemplified the late-18th-century "Age of Sensibility", featured an increased focus on subjectivity and introspection that characterized modern writing. Rousseau befriended fellow philosophy writer Denis Diderot in 1742, would write about Diderot's romantic troubles in his Confessions.
During the period of the French Revolution, Rousseau was the most popular of the philosophers among members of the Jacobin Club. He was interred in 1794, 16 years after his death. Rousseau was born in Geneva, at the time a city-state and a Protestant associate of the Swiss Confederacy. Since 1536, Geneva had been the seat of Calvinism. Five generations before Rousseau, his ancestor Didier, a bookseller who may have published Protestant tracts, had escaped persecution from French Catholics by fleeing to Geneva in 1549, where he became a wine merchant. Rousseau was proud. Throughout his life, he signed his books "Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Citizen of Geneva". Geneva, in theory, was governed "democratically" by its male voting "citizens"; the citizens were a minority of the population when compared to the immigrants, referred to as "inhabitants", whose descendants were called "natives" and continued to lack suffrage. In fact, rather than being run by vote of the "citizens", the city was ruled by a small number of wealthy families that made up the "Council of Two Hundred".
There was much political debate within Geneva, extending down to the tradespeople. Much discussion was over the idea of the sovereignty of the people, of which the ruling class oligarchy was making a mockery. In 1707, a democratic reformer named Pierre Fatio protested this situation, saying "a sovereign that never performs an act of sovereignty is an imaginary being", he was shot by order of the Little Council. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's father, was not in the city at this time, but Jean-Jacques's grandfather supported Fatio and was penalized for it; the trade of watchmaking had become a family tradition by the time of Rousseau's father, Isaac Rousseau. Isaac followed his grandfather and brothers into the business, except for a short stint teaching dance as a dance master. Isaac, notwithstanding his artisan status, was well educated and a lover of music. "A Genevan watchmaker", Rousseau wrote, "is a man. In 1699, Isaac ran into political difficulty by entering a quarrel with visiting English officers, who in response drew their swords and threatened him.
After local officials stepped in, it was Isaac, punished, as Geneva was concerned with maintaining its ties to foreign powers. Rousseau's mother, Suzanne Bernard Rousseau, was from an upper-class family, she was raised by a Calvinist preacher. He cared for Suzanne. In 1695, Suzanne had to answer charges that she had attended a street theater disguised as a peasant woman so she could gaze upon M. Vincent Sarrasin, whom she fancied despite his continuing marriage. After a hearing, she was ordered by the Genevan Consistory to never interact with him again, she married Rousseau's father at the age of 31. Isaac's sister had married Suzanne's brother eight years earlier, after she had become pregnant and they had been chastised by the Consistory; the child died at birth. The young Rousseau was told a romantic fairy-tale about the situation by the adults in his family—a tale where young love was denied by a disapproving patriarch but that prevailed by sibling loyalty that, in the story, resulted in love conquering all and two marriages uniting the families on the same day.
Rousseau never learnt the truth. Rousseau was born on 28 June 1712, he would relate: "I was born dying, they had little hope of saving me", he was baptized on 4 July 1712, in the great cathedral. His mother died of puerperal fever nine days after his birth, which he described as "the first of my misfortunes", he and his older brother François were brought up by their father and a paternal aunt named Suzanne. When Rousseau was five, his father sold the house that the family had received from his mother's relatives. While the idea was that his sons would inherit the principal when grown up and he would live off the interest in the meantime, in the end the father took most of the substantial proceeds. With the selling of the house, the Rousseau family moved out of the upper-class neighborhood and moved into an apartment house in a neighborhood of craftsmen—silversmiths and other watchmakers. Growing up around craftsmen, Rousseau woul