De l’éducation d’un homme sauvage, ou Des premiers développemens physiques et moraux du jeune sauvage de l’Aveyron.

Creator

Jean Marc Gaspard Itard.

Title

De l’éducation d’un homme sauvage, ou Des premiers développemens physiques et moraux du jeune sauvage de l’Aveyron.

Publisher

Paris: Goujon fils,

Date

1801.

Description

[Bound with:] Rapport … sur les nouveaux développemens et l'état actuel du sauvage de l’Aveyron. Paris: l'Impr. Impériale, 1807.

Many bibliophiles find themselves in that inevitable chase for elusive desideratum, and for fifty frustrating years mine were these two pamphlets because they were central to my scientific life. Twice I lost them at auction. Twelve years ago they appeared as the only scientific lot in an auction of literature. They were mine!

Itard demonstrated for the first time in the history of scientific thought that there are critical periods for language acquisition, and that intelligence is shaped by the interaction of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. His discovery derived from his understanding of “the wild boy of Aveyron” as an “experiment of nature.” A youth was found living alone in the forest, without human contact and devoid of language and, in spite of his high intelligence and efforts to teach him, he could not develop the ability to speak. Although the boy had exquisite auditory acuity, he was unresponsive—as if “deaf”—to speech sounds. This stunning paradox lies at the base of modern scientific understanding of language acquisition.

Source

Robert J. Ruben

Tags

Citation

Jean Marc Gaspard Itard. , “De l’éducation d’un homme sauvage, ou Des premiers développemens physiques et moraux du jeune sauvage de l’Aveyron. ,” Grolier Club Exhibitions, accessed December 19, 2018, https://grolierclub.omeka.net/items/show/354.

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