Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Isaac Watts on Education

An interesting passage from Watts's Logick (p. 218):

The Methods of our Education are govern'd by Custom. It is Custom and not Reason that sends every Boy to learn the Roman Poets and to begin a little Acquaintance with Greek, before he is bound an Apprentice to a Soapboiler or Leatherseller. It is Custom alone that teaches us Latin by the Rules of a Latin Grammar; a tedious and absurd Method! And what is it but Custom that has for past centuries confined the brightest Genius's even of the high Rank in the Female World to the only Business of the Needle, and secluded them most unmercifully from the Pleasures of Knowledge, and the divine Improvements of Reason? But we begin to break all these Chains, and Reason begins to dictate the Education of Youth. May the growing Age be learned and wise!

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