Abounding with short aphorisms, the essay begins with an admonition to believe in the true self, which is considered in essence identical with the Universal Spirit: Senseless philanthropy, which encourages dependence on outside help, is thus also thought to be detrimental.
Acting in accordance with true feeling, he believes, will automatically bring about a sound life.
Viewed in light of self, history is thus the biography of a few unusually powerful figures. Having emphasized the importance of nonconformity, he begins to explore the philosophical basis for self-reliance. According to Emerson, there is an instinct or intuition in each individual drawing upon the Universal Spirit as the ever-dependable guiding principle.
Whereas Christ alone has traditionally been regarded as the Word made flesh, Emerson regards every human potentially as a reincarnation of the Word. Consequently, regret of the past and prayer for the future as a means to effect private ends are both diseases of human will and should be avoided.
As a result of this moralistic view, society, like nature, may change but never advance. Typical of his conclusions, the end of this essay, which repeats the theme of self-reliance and predicts the subjugation of Chance under human will based on self-reliance, sounds greatly optimistic.Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American Transcendentalist poet, philosopher and essayist during the 19th century.
One of his best-known essays is "Self-Reliance.” SynopsisBorn: May 25, Ralph Waldo Emerson on Self-Reliance: Advice, Wit, and Wisdom from the Father of Transcendentalism Jul 1, by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
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|Navigate Guide||History[ edit ] The first hint of the philosophy that would become "Self-Reliance" was presented by Ralph Waldo Emerson as part of a sermon in September a month after his first marriage.|
|In "Self-Reliance," philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson argues that polite society has an adverse effect on one's personal growth. Self-sufficiency, he writes, gives one the freedom to discover one'strue self and attain true independence.|
|As in almost all of his work, he promotes individual experience over the knowledge gained from books: This absence of conviction results not in different ideas, as this person expects, but in the acceptance of the same ideas — now secondhand thoughts — that this person initially intuited.|
"Self-Reliance" is an essay written by American transcendentalist philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. It contains the most thorough statement of one of Emerson's recurrent themes, the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow their own instincts and ideas.
In "Self-Reliance," philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson argues that polite society has an adverse effect on one's personal growth. Start studying "Self-Reliance and Nature"- Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. "Self-Reliance" is an essay written by American transcendentalist philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson.
It contains the most thorough statement of one of Emerson's recurrent themes: the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow their own instincts and ideas.