Transcendentalism was an issue that mainly took up it stance through literary works and philosophy. It was created through an organic consequence of Unitarianism ideals. This idea rests upon the belief that people; men and women, have certain wisps of knowledge beyond this realm or world. This “knowledge” comes only through intuition and the imagination, not through logical reasoning or personal sight. People who accept this as a religion are called transcendental.
The Enlightenment, a movement in which thinkers try to apply principles of reason to every aspect of life. Enlightenment philosophers shared ideas which had an impact on the American Democracy & French Revolution. John Locke, montesquieu, voltaire, etc all were a part of this development, they all believed in different things. Locke believed in the natural rights. Voltaire believed and fought for religious tolerance.
Transcendentalism was a philosophical movement that occurred in America after the enlightenment and before the civil war. Transcendental authors espoused closeness with nature while at the same time nonconformity with mainstream society. Comparing and contrasting the bonds that these writers promoted by using details from several works of literature is intriguing. Transcendental authors like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau share their ideas towards nature.
According to the article, “Transcendentalism, An American Philosophy”, transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that arose in the 19th century, revolving around the idea that the understanding people had of themselves and the world came through intuition rather than logic and scientific knowledge. Transcendentalists strongly believed that society had negative effect on an individual and that people themselves should be their own authority. These ideas could be depicted in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay, “Self-Reliance”, where he stresses the importance of being independent and self-reliant. The transcendentalist ideas are also present in Henry David’s, “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”, essay, in which he explains how he was able to remove himself from society and live a life of simplicity, and Thomas Cole’s
Ralph Waldo Emerson was a writer, instructor, and originator of the Transcendentalist development. He turned out to be exceptionally regarded and appreciated man through his work in the field of writing in the 1800s. Ralph Waldo Emerson was the father of American Literary Renaissance. He wrote many essays including “Self Reliance” that changed the prospective of society. In "Self Reliance", Emerson passes on his philosophical thought that each person is self independent and every body is responsible for their own actions.
John Calvin is sometimes referred to as one of the greatest Reformation theologians. Calvin studied law before he studied theology. Calvin argues for two types of government in his compendium of theology, "The Institutes of the Christian Religion,” one, government that rules the spiritual, or inward aspect of humanity, the spiritual government, and two, government that rules the external aspects of human life, the secular government. “Man is the subject of two kinds of government, and having sufficiently discussed that which is situated in the soul, or the inner man, and relates to eternal life, we are, in this chapter, to say something of the other kind, which relates to civil justice, and the regulation of the external conduct. “ In Calvin’s mind, no human law could stand on it’s own without God, who has created the world and government in the beginning.
Since Thoreau's graduation from Harvard, he had become a protégé of his famous neighbor and an informal student of Emerson's Transcendental ideas. Transcendentalism was an American version of Romantic Idealism, a dualistic Neoplatonic view of the world divided into the material and the spiritual. For Emerson, "Mind is the only reality, of which all other natures are better or worse reflectors. Nature, literature, history, are only subjective phenomena. " For the Transcendentalist, the secret of successful living was to hold oneself above material concerns as much as possible and focus on the spiritual.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, on July 15, 1838, delivered his acclaimed speech, “The Divinity School Address,” to the graduating class of Harvard Divinity School. Desiring to leave a lasting impact on the students’ beliefs on what religion truly was, Emerson cunningly utilized the opportunity that arose out of addressing an easily influenced graduating class. A fervent transcendentalist who believed in the innate goodness of people, Emerson attempted to convey, in this message, what he believed the essence of true religion was: a divine worship of one’s self, a belief that is in direct opposition with what Christianity encourages: a devoted worship of Christ and a reckoning of one’s carnal self. In “The Divinity School Address”, not only did Emerson boldly define what he believed religion was, he also chastised Christianity for tarnishing the sacred concept of true religion and for openly proclaiming “errors” as truth, professing that Jesus was God instead of a mere mortal who understood the value of and practiced self-worship. Emerson, displeased with the current state of religion, offered the solution to the graduating class: themselves.
Reading the assigned article, I can now understand why Ralph Waldo Emerson was considered a highly acclaimed philosopher. Self-Reliance was a reflection of his own ideas and the major theme of the year 1830. Given first as a sermon, it captured a large audience. The writer’s intent was to reflect a need for alterations in order to wake society up.
Transcendentalism was a philosophical movement that occurred in America after the Enlightenment and before the Civil War. Transcendental authors espoused closeness with nature while at the same time nonconformity with mainstream society. These ideals were clearly expressed in the literature written by both Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. When comparing the the feelings of intimacy and respect held toward nature within this time period it is beneficial to look at both Emerson’s “Nature” and Thoreau’s “Walden”. Within both of these essays the bond between man and nature is portrayed as being positive.
Knowing that humans on earth are made in the image of God, tells me and many others that there is an intended relationship between God and man. In Loades’ book, Creation: A Reader, this theory is brought up. That the purpose of the creation of man is to have a “continuing relationship with the Creator” (Loades, Brown, and Astley: Creation: A Reader, 1). Genesis 2:7 is another passage that stiffens my biblical worldview. It says that God created man from dust and then breathed the breath of life into him to make him live (English Standard Version).
According to the “Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy”, the Judeo-Christian God is defined as “the creator and sustainer of the universe and is unlimited with regard to knowledge (omniscience), power (omnipotence), extension (omnipresence), and moral perfection.” With regard to God’s existence, many philosophical arguments, some of which date back thousands of year, deliver intriguing and intellectual interpretations, questioning our knowledge about the universe. One of them is the Design Argument, or the teleological argument, the most influential and developed argument for the existence of God throughout history. The basic idea of this argument is that the universe, which we live is created and controlled by an intelligent designer, namely God. In this paper, I will begin by further explaining one version of the arguments from design for the existence of God-specifically one from English philosopher William Paley in his book “Natural Theology”.
His concept of natural law stated that there was an order in nature that could guide people’s thoughts about right and wrong. Natural law, he declared, could be discovered through reason alone. Since God had created nature, natural law agreed with the moral teachings of the Bible.
Thoreau v. Emerson: Transcendentalism Started with the help of Ralph Waldo Emerson, transcendentalism was a movement that focused on finding truth in nature and discovering the sublime. As the movement got more traction, philosophers such as Henry David Thoreau furthered the idea of transcendentalism by living in the woods in search of the sublime and to apply Emerson’s philosophies. In Emerson’s essay, “Nature,” he defined the main principals of transcendentalism and started a movement which influenced many, including Thoreau, who devoted himself to these ideals, which he wrote about in “Walden Pond.” While the two both believe that one must seek the truth in nature to truly know him or herself, the difference is what they believe should be done with nature as their teacher. Emerson believed that one can discover his or her identity through nature and then use it as a guide on how to life one’s life.
Marisa Pope Professor Elizabeth Threatt English 231 17 April 2016 Title In “Walden”, Henry David Thoreau illuminates how society structures people’s lives and their actions. Within his works, Thoreau discusses how people should live their own lives and quit conforming to what society idealizes as the proper ways to do things. Thoreau is a very unique individual who cares nothing about what society thinks or feels about him.