Chap 1F: Education

ARTICLE 2: The Expence of the Educational Institutions for the Youth


130 The educational institutions for the youth may generate a revenue sufficient for defraying their own expence.

  • The fee or honorary which the scholar pays the teacher is naturally a revenue of this kind.


131 Even if the teacher’s reward does not come from this natural revenue, it still is unnecessary that it should be derived from the society’s general revenue.

  • In most countries, the collection and application of the society’s general revenue is assigned to the executive power.
  • Through most of Europe, the endowment of schools and colleges takes a very small amount, or none at all, from that general revenue.
    • It arises chiefly from:
      • some local or provincial revenue,
      • from the rent of some landed estate, and
      • from the interest of money allotted for this purpose and managed by trustees, sometimes by the sovereign or a private donor.


132 Have those public endowments generally contributed to promote the education of the youth?

  • Have they encouraged the diligence and the improvement the teachers’ abilities?”
  • Have they directed education towards more useful objects for the individual and the public, than towards objects it would naturally have gone into of its own accord?
  • It is not be very difficult to answer these questions.


133 In every profession, the exertion of those who exercise it is always proportional to the necessity for that exertion.

  • This necessity is greatest in professions where emoluments are the only source of their fortune or even ordinary revenue and subsistence.
    • To acquire this fortune or even to get this subsistence, they must execute a certain quantity of work of a known value.
  • If the competition is free, the competitors all endeavour to jostle one another out of employment.
    • It obliges every man to execute his work with exactness.
  • The greatness of the objects acquired by the success in some professions may animate those of extraordinary spirit and ambition towards exertion.
  • Great objects are unnecessary to cause the greatest exertions.
    • Rivalship and emulation render excellency as an object of ambition, even in mean professions.
    • Rivalship and emulation frequently lead to the greatest exertions.
    • On the contrary, great objects alone, and unsupported by necessity, are seldom sufficient to lead to any considerable exertion.
  • In England, success in the law profession leads to very great objects of ambition.
    • How few men born to easy fortunes have ever here been eminent in law?


134 The endowments of schools and colleges reduced the necessity of exertion in the teachers.

  • Their subsistence is from their salaries.
    • It is derived from a fund independent of their success and reputation.


135 In some universities, the salary makes a small part of the teacher’s emoluments.

  • The greater part arises from the honoraries or fees of his pupils.
  • The necessity of application is still always reduced.
    • But in this case, it is not entirely removed.
  • Reputation is still important to a teacher.
    • He still has some dependency on his students’ affection, gratitude, and favourable report.
    • He is likely to gain these only by:
      • his abilities and
      • diligence to his duty.


136 In other universities, the teacher is prohibited from receiving any honorary or fee from his pupils.

  • His salary is his whole revenue.
  • In this case, his interest is opposite his duty.
  • “It is the interest of every man to live as much at his ease as he can;”
  • If his emoluments are the same whether he works hard or not, it would certainly be his interest to:
    • neglect his duty or
    • perform it as carelessly as possible.
  • If he is naturally active and hardworking, his interest is to do activities where he can derive some advantage.
    • He will do this rather than perform his duty, from which he can derive no advantage.


137 If he is under the corporate body’s authority and he and most of the members of his college or university are teachers, they are likely to be all very indulgent to one another.

  • Every member will allow other members to neglect their duty provided he himself is allowed to neglect his own.
  • In Oxford university, most public professors for so many years have given up even the pretence of teaching.


138 The teacher will not likely neglect his duty if his superiors are some other extraneous persons such as:

  • the diocese bishop,
  • the provincial governor,
  • some state minister.

However, such superiors can only force him to:

  • attend to his pupils a certain number of hours, and
  • give a certain number of lectures.
    • Those lectures still depend on the teacher’s diligence.
      • That diligence will likely be proportional to his motives for exerting it.
  • This kind of extraneous jurisdiction is liable to be exercised ignorantly and capriciously.
    • In its nature, it is arbitrary and discretionary.
  • Such persons who exercise authority over the teacher are can seldom exercise it properly because they:
    • do not attend the lectures themselves, and
    • do not understand what he teaches.
  • From the insolence of office, they are frequently indifferent how they exercise it.
    • They are very apt to censure or deprive the teacher of his office wantonly, without any just cause.
      • The teacher is then degraded by it.
      • Instead of being one of the most respectable, he is rendered as one of the meanest and most contemptible persons in society.
      • He can guard himself only by powerful protection.
        • He can most likely gain this protection, not by ability or diligence, but by:
          • submissiveness to his superiors’ will, and
          • being ready to sacrifice the university’s rights, interest, and honour to that will.
  • Whoever attends a French university’s administration for a long time will these effects.
    • These naturally result from this kind of arbitrary and extraneous jurisdiction.


139 Whatever forces students to any college or university independent of the teachers’ merit or reputation reduces the necessity of that merit or reputation.

  • The privileges of graduates in arts, law, physics, and divinity are in some cases obtained only by residing a certain number of years in certain universities.
    • It forces a certain number of students to those universities, independent of the teachers’ merit or reputation.
  • The privileges of graduates are a sort of statutes of apprenticeship.
    • They have contributed to the improvement of education, just as statutes of apprenticeship have contributed to the improvement of arts and manufactures.


140 “The charitable foundations of scholarships, exhibitions, bursaries, etc. necessarily attach a certain number of students to certain colleges, independent of the merit of those colleges.”

  • Were the students under such charitable foundations free to choose the college they liked best, there might be some emulation among colleges.
  • On the contrary, a regulation which prohibited them from leaving their college to go to another would very much extinguish that emulation.


141 A regulation which:

  • let each college head appoint the teachers instead of being voluntarily chosen by the student, and
  • did not allow the student to change his teacher in case of the teacher’s neglect, inability, or bad usage would:
    • extinguish all emulation among teachers of the same college, and
    • very much reduce their diligence and attention to their pupils.
  • Such teachers could be very well paid by their students.
    • But they might neglect their students as those who are only paid by a salary.


142 A sensible teacher must find it unpleasant to:

  • lecture nonesense to his students, and
  • find his students deserting his lectures or attending them with neglect, contempt, and derision.

If he is obliged to give a certain number of lectures, these motives alone might urge him strive to give tolerably good ones.

  • Several expedients may be used to effectively reduce diligence.
    • The teacher might read a book about the topic he will teach, instead of explaining it to his pupils.
      • If this book is written in a foreign or dead language, he might:
        • interpret it to them in their own language, and
        • make his students interpret it to him.
      • Now and then he would remark on it.
      • He may flatter himself that he is giving a lecture and give himself less trouble.
    • He can do this with the slightest knowledge, without sounding foolish, absurd, or ridiculous.
  • The college’s discipline may enable him to force his pupils:
    • to regularly attend this sham-lecture, and
    • to maintain the most decent and respectful behaviour during the performance.


143 In general, the discipline of colleges and universities is contrived for the interest or ease of the masters, not for the benefit of the students.

  • In all cases, it aims:
    • to maintain the authority of the master whether he neglects his duty or not
    • to oblige the students to behave as if he performed his duty with the greatest diligence and ability
  • “It seems to presume perfect wisdom and virtue in the one order, and the greatest weakness and folly in the other.”
    • Where the masters really perform their duty, most of the students perform theirs.
    • No discipline is ever needed to force attendance on lectures really worth attending.
  • Force and restraint may be needed to oblige children or very young boys to attend essential early education.
    • But after 12 or 13 years of age, provided the master does his duty, force or restraint is unnecessary in any part of education.
    • Such is the generosity of most young men that they pardon many of their teacher’s errors.
      • They sometimes even conceal his gross negligence from the public, provided he is serious in intending to be useful to them.


144 Generally, the subjects which do not have their own public institutions are the best taught.

  • When a young man goes to a fencing or a dancing school, he does not always learn to fence or to dance very well.
    • He seldom fails to learn to fence or dance.
  • “The good effects of the riding school are not commonly so evident.”
    • The cost of a riding school is so great that in most places it is a public institution.
  • The three most essential parts of literary education are:
    • to read
    • to write
    • to do mathematics
  • They are more commonly acquired in private than public schools.
    • It very seldom happens that anybody fails to acquire them.


145 In England, the public schools are much less corrupted than the universities.

  • In the schools, the youth are taught only Greek and Latin.
  • In the universities, the youth are not taught the sciences.
    • Teaching the sciences is done by those incorporated bodies.
  • In most cases, the schoolmaster’s reward depends principally or entirely on the fees from his scholars.
  • Schools have no exclusive privileges.
  • To obtain graduation honours, one does not need to bring a certificate of his having studied a certain number of years at a public school.
    • “If upon examination he appears to understand what is taught there, no questions are asked about the place where he learnt it.”


146 The subjects commonly taught in universities are perhaps not very well taught.

  • But without those institutions, they would not have been taught at all.
  • The people would have suffered much from the lack of such education.


147Most of the present European universities were originally ecclesiastical corporations.

  • They were instituted for the education of churchmen.
  • They were founded by the pope’s authority and were entirely under his immediate protection.
  • Their members were masters or students.
    • They all had the benefit of clergy.
      • They were exempted from the civil jurisdiction of the countries where those universities were situated.
      • They were amenable only to the ecclesiastical tribunals.
  • The subjects taught in most of those universities were suitable to their institution’s goal:
    • Theology
    • Preparatory Theology


148 When Christianity was first established by law, a corrupted Latin had become the common language of Western Europe.

  • Church services and the Bible translations read in churches were both in that corrupted Latin.
  • After demise of the Roman empire, Latin gradually ceased to be the language of Europe.
    • But the people’s reverence naturally preserves the established forms and ceremonies of religion long after the reasons for their establishment have disappeared.
  • Church services still continued in Latin even though the people no longer understood Latin.
  • Thus, two languages were established in Europe, in the same manner as in ancient Egypt:
    • a sacred, learned language of the priests, and
    • a profane, unlearned language of the people.
  • It was necessary that the priests understood the language they used.
    • The study of the Latin made an essential part of university education from the beginning.


149 It was not so with the Greek or Hebrew languages.

  • The Latin translation of the Bible is commonly called the Latin Vulgate.
    • The infallible church decrees made that version dictated by divine inspiration.
    • It therefore was of equal authority with the Greek and Hebrew originals.
  • The knowledge and study of Greek and Hebrew was not required for churchmen.
    • For a long time, their study was not necessary in common university education.
    • There are some Spanish universities where the study of Greek was never done.
  • The first reformers found the Greek text of the new testament, and the Hebrew text of the old testament, more favourable than the Latin Vulgate translation.
    • The Latin version was gradually accommodated to support the Catholic church’s doctrines.
    • They exposed the many errors of that translation, which the Roman Catholic clergy defended or explained.
      • But this could not be done well without knowledge of those three languages.
      • Their study was therefore gradually introduced into most universities.
    • Some of those universities embraced while some rejected the doctrines of the reformation.
  • The Greek language was connected with classical learning.
    • Classical learning was first principally cultivated by Catholics and Italians.
    • It came into fashion around the same time the doctrines of the reformation began.
  • In most universities, Greek was taught:
    • before philosophy, and
    • as soon as the student had made some progress in Latin.
  • The Hebrew language had no connection with classical learning except in the holy Scriptures.
    • No esteemed book was written in it.
    • Its study only commenced after the study of philosophy when the student entered the study of theology.


150 Originally, the first rudiments of Greek and Latin were taught in universities.

  • In others, the student is expected to have previously learned those languages.
  • The study of both makes a very considerable part of university education everywhere.


151 The ancient Greek philosophy was divided into three great branches:

  • Physics or natural philosophy
  • Ethics or moral philosophy
  • Logic

“This general division seems perfectly agreeable to the nature of things.”


152 The great phenomena of nature necessarily excite wonder:

  • the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, eclipses, comets, thunder, lightning, and extraordinary meteors, and
  • the generation, life, growth, and dissolution of plants and animals.

They naturally call forth mankind’s curiosity to inquire into their causes.

  • Superstition first attempted to satisfy this curiosity by referring them all to the agency of the gods.
  • Philosophy afterwards tried to account for them from more familiar causes.
  • Those great phenomena are the first objects of human curiosity.
  • The science which pretends to explain them must naturally have been the first branch of philosophy.
  • Accordingly, the first recorded philosophers were natural philosophers.


153 In every age and country, men must have attended to one another’s characters, designs, and actions.

  • “Many reputable rules and maxims for the conduct of human life must have been laid down and approved of by common consent.”
  • As soon as writing came into fashion, wise men would naturally endeavour:
    • to multiply those maxims, and
    • to express their own sense of what was proper or improper conduct sometimes in:
      • the more artificial form of apologues, like Aesop’s fables,
      • the more simple form of apophthegms or wise sayings like:
        • The Proverbs of Solomon
        • The verses of Theognis and Phocyllides
        • The works of Hesiod
  • They might continue in this way for a long time merely to multiply those maxims of prudence and morality, without even attempting to:
    • arrange them in any distinct or methodical order, and
    • connect them by general principles from which they were all deducible, like effects from their natural causes
  • There was a beautiful, systemic arrangement of their different observations, connected by a few common principles.
    • This was first seen in the rude ancient essays about the system of natural philosophy.
  • “Something of the same kind was afterwards attempted in morals.”
    • The maxims of common life were arranged in some methodical order.
    • They were connected together by a few common principles, in the same manner attempted in the arrangement and connection of natural phenomena.
  • “The science which pretends to investigate and explain those connecting principles is what is properly called moral philosophy.”


154 “Different authors gave different systems of natural and moral philosophy.”

  • But the arguments which supported those systems were frequently very slender probabilities at best.
    • Sometimes those arguments were mere sophisms.
      • Their only foundation was the inaccuracy and ambiguity of common language.
  • Speculative systems have always been adopted for frivolous reasons.
    • Gross sophistry has never influenced mankind’s opinions, except in matters of philosophy and speculation.
      • Gross sophistry was frequently the greatest in philosophy and speculation.
  • The patrons of each system of natural and moral philosophy naturally tried to expose the weakness of the arguments of opposing systems.
    • In examining those arguments, they had to consider the difference between:
      • a probable and a demonstrative argument,
      • a fallacious and a conclusive one.
  • Logic is the science of the general principles of good and bad reasoning.
    • It arose out of the scrutiny of this examination.
    • It was originally posterior to physics and ethics.
    • It was commonly taught in most of the ancient schools of philosophy, previous to physics and ethics.
      • The student was thought to understand the difference between good and bad reasoning before he was led to reason on important subjects.


155 This ancient division of philosophy into three parts was changed into five parts in most European universities.


156 In the ancient philosophy, whatever concerned the nature of the human mind or the Deity was a part of physics.

  • Those beings were parts of the great system of the universe.
    • They produced the most important effects.
  • Whatever human reason could conclude about them made two very important chapters, of the science which pretended to give an account of the origin and revolutions of the great system of the universe.
  • But in European universities, philosophy was taught as subservient to theology.
  • It was natural to dwell longer on these two chapters than any other chapter of the science.
  • They were gradually extended and divided into many inferior chapters such as:
    • the doctrine of spirits, and
      • This is a study where so little can be known.
    • the doctrine of bodies.
      • This is a study where so much can be known.
  • In the end, the doctrine of spirits took up as much room in philosophy as the doctrine of bodies.
    • Those two doctrines made two distinct sciences.
  • Metaphysics or Pneumatics were set in opposition to Physics.
    • Metaphysics were cultivated as the more sublime and useful science than Physics.
  • Experiment and observation requires a careful attention which is capable of making so many useful discoveries.
    • Experiment and observation was almost entirely neglected.
    • Metaphysics was greatly cultivated.
      • It had a few very simple and obvious truths.
        • The most careful attention of these truths can only lead to obscurity and uncertainty.
        • It can only produce subtleties and sophisms.


157 When those two sciences were set in opposition to one another, the comparison between them naturally created a third science called Ontology.

  • Ontology is the science which studied the qualities and attributes common to subjects in Metaphysics and Physics.
  • Subtleties and sophisms composed most of Metaphysics or Pneumatics and the whole of the cobweb of Ontology.
  • Ontology was sometimes also called Metaphysics.


158 The ancient moral philosophy investigated the happiness and perfection of a man considered as an individual and a member of:

  • a family
  • a state
  • the great human society

In moral philosophy, the duties of human life were treated as subservient to the happiness and perfection of human life.

  • But when moral and natural philosophy came to be taught only as subservient to theology, the duties of human life were treated as subservient to the happiness of a life to come.
  • In the ancient philosophy, the perfection of virtue produced the most perfect happiness in this life.
  • In the modern philosophy, the perfection of virtue was frequently inconsistent with happiness in this life.
    • Heaven was to be earned only by:
      • penance and mortification, and
      • the austerities and abasement of a monk.
    • Heaven was not to be earned bythe liberal, generous, and spirited conduct of a man.
  • Casuistry and an ascetic morality made up most of the moral philosophy of the schools.
    • In this manner, the most important branch of philosophy became the most corrupted.


159 The following was the common course of philosophical education in most European universities:

  1. Logic was taught first
  2. Ontology came in second
  3. Pneumatology came in third
    • It was the doctrine on the nature of the human soul and the Deity
  4. A debased system of moral philosophy came in fourth.
    • It was immediately connected with:
      • The doctrines of Pneumatology
      • The immortality of the human soul
      • The rewards and punishments from the Deity to be expected in a life to come
  5. A short and superficial system of Physics usually concluded the course.


160 The changes introduced by European universities into the ancient course of philosophy were all meant to:

  • educate ecclesiastics, and
  • render it as a more proper introduction to the study of theology

But those changes introduced the following into philosophy:

  • additional subtlety,
  • sophistry,
  • casuistry, and
  • ascetic morality.

These certainly did not:

  • render it more proper for education,
  • improve understanding, nor
  • mend the heart.


161 This course of philosophy is still taught diligently in most European universities.

  • In some of the richest and best endowed universities, the tutors teach a few unconnected shreds and parcels of this corrupted course.
  • They commonly teach it very negligently and superficially.


162 Most of the improvements made in several branches of philosophy were not made in universities.

  • Most universities did not even want to adopt those improvements.
    • For a long time, several of those universities chose to remain the sanctuaries for exploded systems and obsolete prejudices after they had been hunted out of other parts of the world.
  • In general, the richest and best endowed universities were the slowest in adopting those improvements.
    • They were most averse to permit any major change in the established plan of education.
  • Those improvements were more easily introduced into the poorer universities.
    • The teachers there depended on their reputation for most of their subsistence.
    • They were obliged to pay more attention to the current world opinions.


163 European public schools and universities were originally intended only for the education of churchmen.

  • Those churchmen were not always very diligent in instructing their pupils even in the sciences necessary for churchmen.
  • But they gradually drew to themselves the education of almost all other people, particularly those of gentlemen and men of fortune.
  • It was the best method of spending the time between infancy to adulthood for learning the business of the world.
  • However, most of what is taught in schools and universities is not the most proper preparation for that business.


164 In England, it becomes everyday more the custom to send young people to foreign countries immediately after leaving school, without sending them to university.

  • It is said that our young people generally return home much improved by their travels.
  • A young man who goes abroad at 17 or 18 and returns home at 21.
    • At that age, it is very difficult not to improve much in three or four years.
    • He acquires some knowledge of foreign languages from his travels though he is seldom able to speak or write them fluently.
    • He commonly returns home more conceited, unprincipled, dissipated, and more incapable of any serious application to study or business than if he had lived at home.
    • By travelling so very young, he spends the most precious years of his life in the most frivolous dissipation.
      • He is far from the inspection and control of his parents and relations.
      • Every useful habit formed by his early education might be weakened or erased instead of being riveted and confirmed.
  • Only the discredit of the universities could have ever created this very absurd practice of travelling at a young age.
  • By sending his son abroad, a father delivers himself from seeing his own son unemployed, neglected, and going to ruin.


165 Such were the effects of some modern educational institutions.


166 Different educational plans and institutions took place in other ages and nations.


167 In the ancient Greek republic, every free citizen was instructed in gymnastic exercises and music, under the public magistrate.

  • Gymnastic exercises were intended to:
    • harden his body,
    • sharpen his courage, and
    • prepare him for war.
  • The Greek militia was one of the best in the world.
    • Their public education completely answered its purpose.
  • Music was intended to:
    • humanize the mind,
    • soften the temper, and
    • make the mind perform the social and moral duties of life.


168 In ancient Rome, the exercises of the Campus Martius had the same purpose as the Gymnasium in ancient Greece.


Campus Martius

  • They answered that purpose equally well.
  • But the Romans did not have the musical education of the Greeks.
  • Roman public and private morals were much superior to those of the Greeks.
    • Polybius and Dionysius of Halicarnassus knew both Rome and Greece.
      • They have testimony that Roman morals were superior in private life.
    • Greek and Roman history accounts the superiority of Roman public morals.
  • The good temper and moderation of contending factions were the most essential circumstances in the public morals of a free people.
    • But the Greek factions were almost always violent and sanguinary.
    • No blood was ever shed in any Roman faction until the time of the Gracchi.
      • From the time of the Gracchi, the Roman republic was dissolved.
  • Despite the very respectable authority of Plato, Aristotle, Polybius and the very ingenious reasons of Mr. Montesquieu supporting that authority, Greek musical education possibly had no great effect in mending their morals
    • Because without any musical education, Roman morals were superior.
  • The respect of those ancient sages for their ancestors’ institutions probably disposed them to find much political wisdom in what was, perhaps, merely an ancient custom.
    • This custom continued uninterrupted from the earliest to the most refined periods of those societies.
  • “Music and dancing are the great amusements of almost all barbarous nations.”
    • They are great accomplishments for entertaining one’s society.
    • It is so presently among the negroes on the African coast.
    • It was so among the ancient Celts, the ancient Scandinavians and the ancient Greeks before the Trojan war, according to Homer.
    • When the Greek tribes formed themselves into little republics, it was natural that the study of those accomplishments should be a part of public education for a long time.


169 The masters who instructed the young people in music or military exercises were not paid or appointed by the state either in Rome or Athens..

  • The state required that every free citizen should learn his military exercises to defend it in war.
  • But it left him to learn them from the masters he could find.
  • It advanced only a public field where he should practise and perform his exercises.


170 In the early ages of the Greek and Roman republics, the other parts of education consisted in learning to read, write, and compute according to the math of the times.

  • The richer citizens frequently acquired these skills at home through a domestic teacher, who was a slave or a freed-man.
  • The poorer citizens learned them in the schools of masters who taught for hire.
  • Such education were left to the care of each individual’s parents or guardians.
  • The state never inspected or directed them.
  • By a law of Solon, children were acquitted from maintaining their parents in old age, if the parents neglected to instruct them in some profitable trade.


171 In the progress of refinement, philosophy and rhetoric came into fashion.

  • The better sort of people used to send their children to the schools of philosophers and rhetoricians to be instructed in those fashionable sciences.
    • But those schools were not supported and were barely tolerated by the public.
  • For a long time, the demand for philosophy and rhetoric was so small that the first teachers could not find constant employment in any one city.
    • They were obliged to travel about from place to place.
      • Zeno of Elea, Protagoras, Gorgias, Hippias, and many others lived in this way.
  • As the demand increased, the schools of philosophy and rhetoric became stationary first in Athens and afterwards in other cities.
    • However, the state never encouraged them further.
    •  It assigned some of them a place to teach in:
      • The Academy to Plato
      • The Lyceum to Aristotle
      • The Portico to Zeno of Citta, the founder of the Stoics
      • Epicurus bequeathed his gardens to his own school.
  • Marcus Antoninus was a philosophical emperor.
    • Until his time, no teacher had any:
      • salary from the public, or
      • any other emoluments but what arose from the fees of his scholars.
    • According to Lucian, the bounty Marcus Antonius bestowed on a philosophy teacher probably lasted as long as the teacher’s life.
  • There was nothing equivalent to the privileges of graduation.
    • Attending those schools was not needed to practise any trade or profession.
    • The law did not:
      • force anybody to go to schools, nor
      • reward anybody for going to them.
  • The teachers had no jurisdiction over their pupils.
    • Their only authority was the natural authority that skilled and virtuous teachers have over their students.


172 At Rome, the study of the civil law was part of the education of some particular families and not of the citizens.

  • The young people who wished to study law, had no public school to go to.
    • They could only study law by frequenting the company of their relations and friends who understood it.
  • Many of the laws of the 12 tables were copied from the laws of the ancient Greek republics.
    • Yet law was never a science in any ancient Greek republic.
  • In Rome it became a science very early.
    • It gave a high degree of illustration to those who understood it.
  • In the ancient Greek republics, particularly in Athens, the ordinary courts of justice consisted of numerous, disorderly bodies of people.
    • They frequently decided at random or as clamour, faction, and party spirit happened to determine.
    • The ignominy of an unjust decision, when it was to be divided among 500 to 1,500 people (some of their courts were so numerous), could not fall very heavy on any individual.
  • On the contrary, the principal courts of justice at Rome had one or a few judges who deliberated in public.
    • Their character would always be very much affected by any rash or unjust decision.
    • In doubtful cases, such courts, from their anxiety to avoid blame, would naturally shelter themselves under the example or precedent of the judges before them.
    • This attention to practice and precedent formed the Roman law into that regular and orderly system delivered down to us.
    • Other countries which gave the same attention created the same effects on their laws.
  • The superiority of character in the Romans over the Greeks was so much remarked by Polybius and Dionysius of Halicarnassus.
    • It probably owed more to the better constitution of their courts of justice than to any circumstance those authors ascribe it.
    • The Romans were distinguished for their superior respect to an oath.
      • But the people who made oaths before a diligent and well-informed court of justice would naturally be much more attentive to what they swore than those who swore before mobbish and disorderly assemblies.


173 The civil and military abilities of the Greeks and Romans were at least equal to any modern nation.

  • We overrate them.
  • The Greek and Roman states did not strive to form those abilities, except in military exercises.
  • I cannot believe that the Greek musical education helped form those abilities.
  • Masters were found for teaching the better sort of people in every art and science necessary for their society.
    • The demand for such instruction produced what it always produces, the talent for giving it.
  • An unrestrained competition never fails to excite emulation.
    • This emulation brought that talent to a very high degree of perfection.
  • The ancient philosophers were much superior to any modern teachers in:
    • the attention they excited,
    • the empire they acquired over the opinions and principles of their auditors, and
    • their faculty of giving a certain tone and character to the conduct and conversation of those auditors
  • In modern times, the diligence of public teachers is corrupted by the separation of their success and their reputation in teaching.
  • The salaries of public teachers put the private teacher, who competes with them, in the same state as a merchant who trades without a bounty competing with merchants who have a big bounty.
    • If he sells his goods at the same price, he cannot have the same profit.
      • He will be bankrupt and ruined.
    • If he attempts to sell them dearer, he will have so few customers.
  • The privileges of graduation are in many countries necessary or at least extremely convenient to most men of learned professions.
    • “But those privileges can be obtained only by attending the lectures of the public teachers.”
    • The most careful attendance to the ablest instructions of any private teacher cannot always give any title to them.
    • Because of these, the private teacher of the sciences taught in modern universities is considered the lowest order of men of letters.
      • A man of real abilities cannot find a more humiliating or unprofitable employment.
  • The endowment of schools and colleges have:
    • corrupted the diligence of public teachers, and
    • rendered it almost impossible to have any good private teachers.


174 If there are no public educational institutions, only the sciences and systems which were necessary, convenient, fashionable, and in demand would be taught.

  • A private teacher could never get by teaching a science that was:
    • exploded, antiquated, but useful, and
    • universally believed to be a useless and pedantic heap of sophistry and nonsense.
  • Such systems and sciences can only subsist in incorporated societies for educating people whose wealth is independent of their reputation and industry.
  • If there were no public educational institutions, a gentleman who completes all the available education would not be ignorant of worldly subjects.


175 There are no public educational institutions for women.

  • There is accordingly nothing useless, absurd, or fantastic in their common education.
  • They are taught what their parents judge necessary or useful for them to learn and nothing else.
  • Their education is used to:
    • improve the natural attractions of their person,
    • form their mind to reserve, modesty, chastity, and economy,
    • make them the mistresses of a family, and
    • make them behave properly when they have become such.
  • In every part of her life, a woman feels some conveniency or advantage from her education.
    • A man seldom derives any conveniency or advantage from the most laborious and troublesome education.


176 Should the public give no attention to the people’s education?

  • If it should give any, what are the parts of education which it should attend to in the different orders of people?
    • How should it to attend to them?


177 In some cases, the state places most individuals in such situations that naturally form in them, almost all the abilities and virtues which that state requires, without any government attention.

  • In other cases, the state does not place individuals in such situations.
  • Some government attention is needed to prevent the people’s corruption and degeneracy.


178 In the progress of the division of labour, the employment of most of people becomes confined to a few very simple operations, frequently to one or two.

  • But the understandings of most men are necessarily formed by their ordinary employments.
  • The man who performs a few, simple, unchanging operations his whole life, does not commonly need to exert his understanding or find ways to remove difficulties which never occur.
    • He naturally loses the habit of such exertion.
    • He generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as possible for a human to become.
    • The torpor of his mind renders him incapable of:
      • relishing any rational conversation
      • conceiving any generous, noble, or tender sentiment
      • forming any just judgement about the ordinary duties of private life
    • He is incapable of judging the great and extensive interests of his country.
    • He is equally incapable of defending his country in war.
      • The uniformity of his stationary life naturally corrupts the courage of his mind.
        • It makes him abhor the irregular, uncertain, and adventurous life of a soldier.
        • It corrupts even the activity of his body.
        • It renders him incapable of exerting his strength with vigour and perseverance in any other employment.
    • His dexterity at his own trade is acquired at the cost of his intellectual, social, and martial virtues.
  • In every civilized society, this is the state of the labouring poor or most of the people, unless the government prevents it.


179 It is otherwise in the barbarous societies of hunters, shepherds, and husbandmen.

  • In such societies, the varied occupations of every man oblige them to:
    • exert their capacity
    • invent expedients for removing difficulties continually occurring
  • Invention is kept alive.
  • The mind does not fall into that drowsy stupidity.
  • In a civilized society, it seems to benumb the understanding of the inferior ranks of people.
  • In those barbarous societies, every man is a warrior.
  • Every man too is in some measure a statesman.
  • He can form a tolerable judgement about his society’s interest and the conduct of its leaders.
  • Almost everyone in his society knows how good their chiefs are as judges in peace or as leaders in war.
  • In such a society, no one can acquire the improved and refined understanding which a few men can possess in a more civilized state.
    • Though in a rude society there is more variety in occupations, there is not a great deal in the occupations of the whole society.
    • Every man does almost every thing which any other man does.
    • Every man has a considerable degree of knowledge, ingenuity, and invention, but no one has a great degree of them.
      • Those commonly possessed is sufficient only for conducting the simple business of society.
  • In a civilized state, on the contrary, there is little variety in the occupations of most individuals.
    • There is an almost infinite variety in the occupations of the whole society.
    • These varied occupations present an almost infinite variety of objects to the contemplation of those few.
      • Those few people, being attached to no particular occupation themselves, have leisure and inclination to examine the occupations of other people.
      • The contemplation of so great a variety of objects exercises their minds in endless comparisons and combinations.
        • It renders their understandings extraordinarily acute and comprehensive.
    • Unless those few were placed in very particular situations, their great, honourable abilities may contribute very little for their society’s happiness.
      • All the nobler parts of the human character may be extinguished in the people.


180 In a civilized society, the education of the common people requires perhaps the public attention more than the attention of people of rank and fortune.

  • People of some rank and fortune are generally 18 or 19 years of age before they enter their business or profession, wherein they hope to distinguish themselves.
  • Before that, they have full time to acquire every accomplishment which can recommend them to the public esteem, or render them worthy of it.
  • Their parents or guardians are anxious that they should be so accomplished.
  • In most cases, they are willing to spend for that purpose.
  • If they are not always properly educated, it is because of:
    • the improper spending, and not from the lack of spending for education
    • the negligence and incapacity of the available teachers, not from the lack of teachers
    • the difficulty of finding more skilled teachers
  • The employments of people of rank or fortune are not simple and uniform like those of the common people.
    • They are almost all extremely complicated.
    • They exercise the head more than the hands.
    • They generally have a lot of leisure.
    • Their intellect seldom grows torpid from the lack of exercise.
    • They may perfect themselves in every useful or ornamental knowledge.


181 It is otherwise with the common people.

  • They have little time to spare for education.
  • Their parents cannot afford to maintain them even in infancy.
  • As soon as they are able to work, they must get employment to earn their subsistence.
    • That employment is generally so simple and uniform.
      • It gives little exercise to the understanding.
      • Their labour is so constant and so severe.
        • It leaves them little leisure and less inclination to think of anything else.


182 The most essential parts of education are to:

  • Read
  • Write
  • Compute

Common people cannot be so well instructed as rich people.

  • However, this essential education can be acquired so early in life.
  • Most of those bred to the lowest occupations can acquire them before they are employed.
  • For a very small cost, the public can facilitate, encourage, and impose essential education on the people.


183 The public can facilitate this by establishing a little school in every district where children may be taught for a very small fee that even a common labourer can afford.

  • The teacher is partly paid by the public.
    • If he was wholly or principally paid by the public, he would soon neglect teaching.
  • In Scotland, such schools has taught almost all common people to read and many of them to write and compute.
  • In England, charity schools have the same effect though not so universally, because charity schools are not so universal.
  • The literary education of children would perhaps be complete if, in those little schools:
    • the books for little children were more instructive
    • they were taught basic geometry and mechanics instead of useless Latin
  • Almost all common trades require geometry and mechanics
    • Those trades gradually exercise and improve the common people in those very sublime and useful sciences.


184 The public can encourage basic education by giving small premiums and little badges of distinction to excellent children.


185 The public can impose basic education on people by obliging every man to undergo an exam before he can be allowed to set up any trade.


186 In a similar manner, the Greeks and Romans maintained their martial spirit by encouraging and even imposing the need for military and gymnastic exercises on all their citizens.

  • They appointed a place for learning and practising those exercises.
    • They allowed teachers to give training in that place.
      • Those teachers did not have salaries nor any exclusive privileges.
        • Their whole reward came from their scholars.
  • A citizen trained in the public Gymnasia had no legal advantage over one who trained privately as long as the private learner trained equally well.
  • Those republics encouraged those exercises by bestowing little premiums and badges of distinction on those who excelled in them.
    • The prize in the Olympic games gave honour to the winner and his family.
  • Every citizen was obliged to serve a number of years in the army.
    • It imposed the need for learning those exercises, without which he could not be fit for the army.


187 Modern Europe proves that in the progress of improvement, military exercises and the martial spirit of the people gradually decays unless the government supports it.

  • The security of every society must always depend on the martial spirit of the people.
  • Presently, that martial spirit alone, without a standing army, would be insufficient in defending any society.
  • But where every citizen had the spirit of a soldier, a smaller standing army would be needed.
  • That spirit would very much reduce  the dangers to liberty commonly seen from a standing army.
  • As it would very much facilitate the operations of that army against a foreign invader, so it would obstruct them if they would be directed against the state.


188 The ancient institutions of Greece and Rome were much more effective in maintaining the people’s martial spirit than the establishment of modern militias.

  • Those ancient institutions were much more simple.
    • After their establishment, they executed themselves.
    • It required little from government to maintain them in perfect shape.
  • On the other hand, modern militias require the continual and painful attention of the government to maintain.
  • The influence of the ancient institutions was much more universal.
    • They completely instructed the people in the use of arms.
    • Whereas only a very small part of them can ever be so instructed by the regulations of any modern militia, except that of Switzerland.
  • But a coward is as mutilated and deformed in his mind as a disabled person is deformed in his body.
    • A coward is more wretched and miserable than a disabled person, because happiness and misery reside in the mind.
    • He must depend more on the state of the mind than the state of the body.
  • The people’s martial spirit prevents that mental mutilation, deformity, and wretchedness which cowardice brings.
    • The martial spirit prevents that mental deformity from spreading through the people.
    • It deserves the most serious attention of government even if it provides no physical defence.
    • This is the same way that leprosy or any loathsome disease must be prevented by government from spreading, even if preventing its spread did not bring any other benefit.


189 The same thing may be said of the gross ignorance and stupidity in a civilized society.

  • It frequently benumbs the understandings of all inferior people.
  • A man with no human intelligence is more contemptible than even a coward.
    • He seems more mutilated and deformed in his mind.
  • Government must pay attention that such people should be instructed, even if the country derives no advantage from their instruction.
    • The more they are instructed, the less liable they are to the delusions of enthusiasm and superstition which cause the most dreadful disorders among ignorant nations.
  • “An instructed and intelligent people, are always more decent and orderly than an ignorant and stupid one.”
    • Each person feels more respectable to his superior.
    • Each person is therefore more disposed to respect his superiors.
  • They can better examine the interested complaints of faction and sedition.
    • They are less apt to be misled into any wanton or unnecessary opposition to government.
  • In free countries, the safety of government depends very much on the favourable judgement from its people.
    • They must not judge rashly or capriciously concerning it.

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