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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

❶In January Emerson's first son, Waldo, died of scarlet fever.

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The Ideal in America-Educator's Edition. The Ideal in America--Educator's Edition. Thank you for your support! The Method of Nature. Introductory Lecture on the Times. IX New England Reformers. Uses of Great Men. Plato; or, the Philosopher. Swedenborg; or, the Mystic. Montaigne; or, the Skeptic.

Shakspeare; or, the Poet. Napoleon; or, the Man of the World. Goethe; or, the Writer. I First Visit to England. II Voyage to England. XIX Speech at Manchester. VII Considerations by the Way. I Society and Solitude. VII Works and Days. The Sovereignty of Ethics. From this perspective or more properly the developing set of such perspectives the virtues do not disappear, but they may be fundamentally altered and rearranged.

Although Emerson is thus in no position to set forth a system of morality, he nevertheless delineates throughout his work a set of virtues and heroes, and a corresponding set of vices and villains. Emerson criticizes our conformity even to our own past actions-when they no longer fit the needs or aspirations of the present. If Emerson criticizes much of human life, he nevertheless devotes most of his attention to the virtues.

The figure of the boys illustrates Emerson's characteristic combination of the romantic in the glorification of children and the classical in the idea of a hierarchy in which the boys occupy the place of lords or nobles. Although he develops a series of analyses and images of self-reliance, Emerson nevertheless destabilizes his own use of the concept.

For Emerson, the best human relationships require the confident and independent nature of the self-reliant. It is not a gift that is available on demand, however, and a major task of life is to meld genius with its expression. Although Emerson emphasizes our independence and even distance from one another, then, the payoff for self-reliance is public and social.

Although self-reliance is central, it is not the only Emersonian virtue. His representative skeptic of this sort is Michel de Montaigne, who as portrayed in Representative Men is no unbeliever, but a man with a strong sense of self, rooted in the earth and common life, whose quest is for knowledge.

The son of a Unitarian minister, Emerson attended Harvard Divinity School and was employed as a minister for almost three years. Emerson finds that contemporary Christianity deadens rather than activates the spirit. The power in which Emerson is interested, however, is more artistic and intellectual than political or military. Power is all around us, but it cannot always be controlled. Moreover, we often cannot tell at the time when we exercise our power that we are doing so: At some point in many of his essays and addresses, Emerson enunciates, or at least refers to, a great vision of unity.

How can the vision of succession and the vision of unity be reconciled? Emerson never comes to a clear or final answer. He suggests this, for example, in the many places where he speaks of waking up out of our dreams or nightmares.

Emerson routinely invites charges of inconsistency. He means to be irresponsible to all that holds him back from his self-development. In the world of flux that he depicts in that essay, there is nothing stable to be responsible to: Despite this claim, there is considerable consistency in Emerson's essays and among his ideas. There are in fact multiple paths of coherence through Emerson's philosophy, guided by ideas discussed previously: It is hard for an attentive reader not to feel that there are important differences between early and late Emerson: An event hovering over the essay, but not disclosed until its third paragraph, is the death of his five-year old son Waldo.

Yet the essay ends with an assertion that in its great hope and underlying confidence chimes with some of the more expansive passages in Emerson's writing.

Despite important differences in tone and emphasis, Emerson's assessment of our condition remains much the same throughout his writing. All in all, the earlier work expresses a sunnier hope for human possibilities, the sense that Emerson and his contemporaries were poised for a great step forward and upward; and the later work, still hopeful and assured, operates under a weight or burden, a stronger sense of the dumb resistance of the world.

Emerson read widely, and gave credit in his essays to the scores of writers from whom he learned. He kept lists of literary, philosophical, and religious thinkers in his journals and worked at categorizing them. Among the most important writers for the shape of Emerson's philosophy are Plato and the Neoplatonist line extending through Plotinus, Proclus, Iamblichus, and the Cambridge Platonists.

Equally important are writers in the Kantian and Romantic traditions which Emerson probably learned most about from Coleridge's Biographia Literaria. Emerson read avidly in Indian, especially Hindu, philosophy, and in Confucianism. There are also multiple empiricist, or experience-based influences, flowing from Berkeley, Wordsworth and other English Romantics, Newton's physics, and the new sciences of geology and comparative anatomy.

Other writers whom Emerson often mentions are Anaxagoras, St. Emerson's works were well known throughout the United States and Europe in his day. Other Emersonian ideas-about transition, the ideal in the commonplace, and the power of human will permeate the writings of such classical American pragmatists as William James and John Dewey.

The friend can be a person but it may also be a text. The great man or woman, Cavell holds, is required for rather than opposed to democracy: An Estimate of His Character and Genius: In Prose and in Verse , Boston: Chronology of Emerson's Life 2. Major Themes in Emerson's Philosophy 2. Some Questions about Emerson 3. Greek, Latin, History, Rhetoric.

Mill, and Thomas Carlyle. Returns to Boston in November, where he begins a career as a lecturer. Presents sixteen lectures in Harvard's Philosophy Department.

I talked yesterday with a pair of philosophers: I endeavored to show my good men that I liked everything by turns and nothing long…. Could they but once understand, that I loved to know that they existed, and heartily wished them Godspeed, yet, out of my poverty of life and thought, had no word or welcome for them when they came to see me, and could well consent to their living in Oregon, for any claim I felt on them, it would be a great satisfaction CW 3: In history the great moment, is, when the savage is just ceasing to be a savage, with all his hairy Pelasgic strength directed on his opening sense of beauty: Robert Spiller et al, Cambridge, Mass: Edward Waldo Emerson, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, , pp.

William Gillman, et al. Spiller, and Wallace E. Rusk and Eleanor M. Joseph Slater, New York:

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Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, – April 27, After his wife's death, he began to disagree with the church's methods, writing in his journal in June , "I have sometimes thought that, in order to be a good minister, it was necessary to leave the ministry. The profession is antiquated.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American Transcendentalist poet, philosopher and essayist during the 19th century. One of his best-known essays is "Self-Reliance.” Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on Born: May 25,

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Discover Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes about writing. Share with friends. Create amazing picture quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson quotations. Ralph Waldo Emerson - Poet - American poet, essayist, and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in in Boston.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson. Biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson and a searchable collection of works. I found this in an article online, and I want to use it for an essay I'm writing. Could somebody help me find the original location of this quote, so that I can cite it properly? Posted By thinh in Emerson, Ralph Waldo || 2 Replies. Ralph Waldo Emerson () Contributing Editor: Jean Ferguson Carr Classroom Issues and Strategies. Given the difficulty students often have with Emerson's style and allusions, it seems very important to address Emerson not as the proponent of a unified philosophy or movement (e.g., Transcendentalism or Romanticism), but as a writer concerned with his audience and his peers, and.