To begin with, Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882), whose middle name was Waldo, was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist and poet who led the Transcendentalist movement in the mid-19th century. He is seen as an advocate of individualism and an outspoken critic of social backpressure, and his ideology is expressed through dozens of published essays and over 1,500 public lectures in the United States spread.
Emerson and philosophy of transcendentalism
Moreover, gradually moving away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, Emerson formulated and expressed the philosophy of transcendentalism in his 1836 essay Nature. Following this work, he delivered his 1837 speech entitled contemporaries. Emerson formulated and expressed the philosophy of transcendentalism in his 1836 essay Nature. Following this work, he delivered his 1837 speech entitled “The American Scholar.” This is what Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. considered America’s “intellectual declaration of independence.”
Meanwhile, Emerson wrote most of his important essays first as lectures and later revised them for print. His first two collections of essays, Essays: First Series (1841) and His Essays: Second Series (1844), represent the core of his thinking. They include the well-known essays “Self-Reliance”, “The Over-Soul”, “Circles”, “The Poet”, and “Experience.” Together with “Nature” these essays made the decade from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s Emerson’s most fertile period. Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for mankind to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson’s “nature” was more philosophical than naturalistic: ” Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul.” Emerson is one of several figures who “took a more pantheist approach by rejecting views of God as separate from the world.”
Emerson, one of the linchpins of the American romantic movement
In conclusion, he remains among the linchpins of the American romantic movement, and his work has greatly influenced the thinkers, writers and poets that followed him. “In all my lectures,” he wrote, “I have taught one doctrine, namely, the infinitude of the private man.” Emerson is also well known as a mentor and friend of Henry David Thoreau, a fellow transcendentalist.