Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson - The American Scholar Summary & Analysis

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The American Scholar Summary and Analysis

Emerson gave this Phi Beta Kappa address at Harvard in 1837, in which he refutes the popular notion that scholarship and books are idle, passive pursuits removed from the mainstream of life. To the contrary, he insists, they are the tools humans use to advance themselves from ignorance to knowledge. Academics need not feel uncomfortable that their has been called "the age of introversion," for it is through inward searching that both knowledge and spirituality advance, according to Emerson.

Emerson eerily prefigures Darwin in his awareness of an ever-changing world: "It is a mischievous notion that we are come late into nature; that the world was finished a long time ago. As the world was plastic and fluid in the hands of God, so it is ever so much of his attributes as we bring to it." Emerson...

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This section contains 196 words
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Buy the Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson Study Guide
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