Jean-Jacques Ampère, a successful merchant, was an admirer of the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose theories of education (as outlined in his treatise Émile) were the basis of Ampère's education. Rousseau believed that young boys should avoid formal schooling and pursue instead a "direct education from nature." Ampère's father actualized this ideal by allowing his son to educate himself within the walls of his well-stocked library.
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