Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)
Born in Boston, entered Harvard at age fourteen, graduated, taught in his brother William’s school until 1825 when he entered the Divinity School at Harvard. Strongly influenced, intellectually, by his paternal aunt, Mary Moody Emerson. Married Lydia Jackson in 1835 with whom he had four children. From 1839 began an intense lecturing career which helped bring his writings into public consciousness. In 1844 purchased land on the shore of Walden Pond where he allowed the philosopher Henry David Thoreau to build a cabin the following year.
Amongst nineteenth century American writers and philosophers Emerson is perhaps the most important and influential.
“We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul.” (From ‘The Over Soul’ by Emerson.)
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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