“Hints & Speculation on Education”: Tom Wedgwood’s Materialist Pedagogy

This article examines the connection between Tom Wedgwood’s pedagogical theories and his materialist theories of mind, which emphasized the importance of emotion in character formation. Wedgwood hoped to open an experimental school for infants with the goal of producing a generation of politically radical geniuses. This article situates Wedgwood’s ideas within the context of Romantic theories of cognition, debates about the mind-body relationship, and social reform, and points to a growing trend that connected bodily health and moral virtue. It argues for the significance of his largely ignored or undervalued contributions to Romantic thinking about the mind, body, and education.