07/31/15 • 12 min
How should we love our children? Can we build on the feelings we experience when we see them for the first time, raise them by instinct and personal principles or should we consult the childcare gurus of the internet and the bookshelves? Lisa Appignanesi, the novelist, biographer and author of 'All About Love' suggests that we should turn to the first childcare expert of them all, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The father of the Romantic movement was one of the first philosophers to consider the importance of the initial bond between mother and child, strongly opposing the fashionable habit of farming newborn babies out to wet nurses. Rousseau failed to follow his own advice, abandoning his five children to the Paris orphanage, but his writing belatedly raised our children to a status worthy of philosophical debate. Lisa is joined in her ruminations by psychoanalyst, Adam Phillips, Rousseau expert Christopher Brooke and her own son and grandson. This is part of a week of progammes asking, 'What is love?'.
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