Transcendentalism, An American Philosophy [omarcafini.info]
Individualist Themes in Emerson, Thoreau, and Sumner. Authors: and its relationship to the simultaneous rise of the market economy as articulated in the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and William Graham Sumner. Henry Thoreau was born in in Concord, where his father, John, was a used at Harvard--Ralph Waldo Emerson is supposed to have remarked that most of . He worked for pay intermittently; he cultivated relationships with several of the .. for a quart of blood, but that is not the market that heroes carry their blood to. This chapter is a study of Ralph Waldo Emerson's individualism, both in itself and . relationship between buyer and seller at B2B level and the role of marketing from Ralph Waldo Emerson to his protégé Henry David Thoreau, who arrives.
Geschichte der Nordamerikanischen Kultur. The reformatory religious doctrine established by the clergymen Johannes Calvin was later adopted by the Puritans, who rejected the authority of the Church and sought to overcome the social demoralization of their time 2.
They argued in favour of a purification of the Church from sin and immorality. They therefore saw the human being as incapable of finding redemption by means of his own will and effort.
He was required to undertake a moral regeneration through rigorous self-discipline and devoutness. Since the human being was supposed to be spiritually blinded, he could recognize the will of God only by a strenuous study of the Holy Scripture. The Calvinists called for an emotionless, rational interpretation of the Bible by authorized clergymen.
Believers were compelled to adhere to particular analytic requirements and were therefore not able to attain dialectic knowledge of diverse biblical readings 3. A group of liberal Christians, who were intensely influenced by those ideas, sought to unify reason and enthusiasm in an ethical system that allowed for self-contained and enlightened judgement. The most significant representative of this religious insight was the Unitarian 5 William Ellery Chaning —who is also regarded as the forerunner of transcendentalism.
ENGL Essay on Henry David Thoreau and "Walden"
They propagated a critical confrontation with theological questions in order to console the religious crisis of their time. Believing that a scientifically based view could give firm evidence of biblical revelation, they attached themselves to the Empiricist doctrine of John Locke 8. According to Locke, human intuitive knowledge is restricted to the confines of deductive logic, which means that all assertion can only be deduced through information gained by our sensory perception.
As a consequence, he considered human cognitive competence as very constrained, as it is only based on empirical knowledge. Consequently, this view rejected the assumption that Divine Truth may be received directly by the human soul without any exertion of the faculty of judgement 9. Transcendentalism as a Social Movement Their emphasized principle of reasoning helped overcome the bigotry of the Puritans, but on the other hand, it suggested that religious practice in New England was doomed to freeze into dogmatism and social materialism.
European Enlightenment and the democratic concept of liberty was revived on a spiritual level by the emergence of transcendentalism. Its members criticized the stubborn adherence of the Unitarians to the Bible as the only and direct relation to God, since they regarded it as an historical document of a less enlightened time.
Averting themselves from historically based dogmatism, they turned towards the inner life of the individual and towards the intuitive font of Truth.
They believed in the vocation of man to recognize Divine Revelation within himself, beyond empirical experience. The following statement by the transcendentalist George Ripley could well summarize the religious standpoint of the group: As a very well-read woman and a strong, impulsive and vivid character, she incited Emerson to think critically and to maintain a liberal religious attitude.
He considered it a formality without any truthful spiritual significance. This was the death of his wife, Ellen Louisa Tucker, only two years after their marriage. As a result of this tragic experience, the young Emerson fell into a deep emotional crisis, which he strived to overcome by his search for the existence of God, as his famous biographer Richardson describes.
In their writings he finally found confirmation and reinforcement of his vision of an intuitive philosophy and of his personal desire for an unrestricted relationship with God. Oxford Dictionary of English. The transcendental question turns towards the subject, assuming that the subject in the process of cognition constitutes the object in his consciousness. Accordingly, cognition is not to be understood as a passive acceptance of a given fact, but as an active accomplishment of the subject.
Thus, Kant deduces that we are able to recognize certain general regularities and phenomena of reality, because they already exist a priori in our cognitive faculty and are projected into objects.
He saw reason as a higher spiritual faculty, where ideas in their significance - according to Plato 23 - as unique, true and original images dwell. The opening sentences of the essay have a spontaneous and self-reliant character in their denial of all tradition. It builds the sepulchers of our fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. Emerson calls for breaking with conformity, and insists on becoming more self-reliant. As manifestations of Divine Creation, they are all accessible to the human mind.
Emerson's Protégés: Mentoring and Marketing Transcendentalism's Future
We, through their eyes. Gazing at the stars, he becomes aware of his own separateness from the material world. Visible every night, they demonstrate that God is ever-present.
- 26f. Transcendentalism, An American Philosophy
- Henry David Thoreau
Emerson saw a special bond between the object of observation and the observer, especially in the human capacity to rejoice in something. When retreating oneself in nature, the individual can experience them as parallel creations of the same omnipresent Spirit.
He discloses that the human being is endowed with a particular property which enables him to recognize the identity of man and nature. Thus, the image of the subject and object sharing one particular property is similar to the Kantian a priori idea: In nature, the individual casts off his earthly existence and experiences the divine universal spirit as a force which flows through man and nature.
Due to this energy which dwells also in man, the individual is able to experience a moment of confidence and delight in the eternal universal energy: In the woods, too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period so ever of life is always a child. In the woods there is a perpetual youth. Within these plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years. I am standing on the bare ground, - my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into the infinite space, - all mean egotism vanishes.POLITICAL THEORY - Henry David Thoreau
I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part and particle of God. In the contemplative removal of all ontological restrictions between subjectivity and the absolute being by abolishment of all egotistic aspirations, the individual experiences a sameness among nature, God and himself.
In the moment of immersion with the Universal Soul, the individual encounters the greatest form of blessedness. To experience awe in the presence of nature, means to approach it with a balance between our inner and outer senses. Therefore, it is the particular harmony between man's inner processes and the outer world that enables the soul to elevate itself.
Thus, Emerson shifts religious significance towards the moral responsibility of the individual. He makes clear that only he, who pays attention to his conscience, may live in harmony with his own self and the surrounding world: He who does a good deed is instantly ennobled.
He who does a mean deed is by the action itself contracted […] If a man dissemble, deceive, he deceives himself, and goes out of acquaintance with his own being.
Thus, he discerns that every decision, every action has its equilibrating counterpart in the universe of causality. In this self-regulating system each action is followed by its consequence and falls back on the actor himself. Reward and punishment are not issued by an external divine power, but are the result of a continuously balancing universe: There is no other separate, ultimate resource, for God is within him, God about him, he is a part of God himself.
In order to be perpetually open to its sound, the soul must be free from material attachments and egotistic interests. The individual should be self-sufficient, self-reliant and should be able to rest within his own self. Here the idea of a divine spirit dwelling in the individual is manifested: At the same time, it carries the idea forward, representing the subject not only as the originator, but grounding the relationship pertaining to cognition in the shared essence between man and nature.
It therefore accentuates the identity between man, nature and God. Blinde Figuren in Texten sehender Autoren. The Teachers of Emerson. As maintained by this theory, the genesis of the world is a repercussion of the emanation of the Highest Being.
This emanation occurred gradually, wherein lower forms emerged from higher stages of existence. In line with this system, the individual is part of the world soul, which implies, vice versa, that the world soul is inherent in each individual soul. His intellectual contributions to the philosophy of transcendentalism inspired a uniquely American idealism and spirit of reform.
The theory of books is noble. The scholar of the first age received into him the world around; brooded thereon; gave it the new arrangement of his own mind, and uttered it again. It came into him, life; it went out from him, truth.
It came to him, short-lived actions; it went out from him, immortal thoughts. It came to him, business; it went from him, poetry. It was dead fact; now, it is quick thought. It can stand, and it can go. It now endures, it now flies, it now inspires Precisely in proportion to the depth of mind from which it issued, so high does it soar, so long does it sing.
But the most interesting character by far was Henry David Thoreau, who tried to put transcendentalism into practice. A great admirer of Emerson, Thoreau nevertheless was his own man — described variously as strange, gentle, fanatic, selfish, a dreamer, a stubborn individualist.
For two years Thoreau carried out the most famous experiment in self-reliance when he went to Walden Pond, built a hut, and tried to live self-sufficiently without the trappings or interference of society. Later, when he wrote about the simplicity and unity of all things in nature, his faith in humanity, and his sturdy individualism, Thoreau reminded everyone that life is wasted pursuing wealth and following social customs.
Nature can show that "all good things are wild and free. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.
For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever.
Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.
In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds.