The Second Discourse had stressed the immense distance between the pure state of nature and civil society, and left it to the ‘pure heart’ to rescue our natural drives from social corruption. In the Emile Rousseau strives to translate that aspiration into reality, showing how corruption can be postponed, or even prevented, by a meticulous educational formation, a process which demands an acute sense of timing on the part of the educator. As he presents this programme, Rousseau refines the natural/social opposition. He ties together moral and scientific education. He elaborates, in often eccentric detail, the mechanisms, tricks and manipulations which are needed to produce that rare outcome, the autonomous adult.