The And The World 's Heart Essay

The And The World 's Heart Essay

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Humans have been shaped and formed like play-doh throughout time for eons and eras, molded by evolution, hardships, depressions, and disasters. In retaliation to devastation, people and societies form theories in order to better understand themselves, their history, and their action upon the earth. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle among many others studied the polis in an effort to understand people and their politics in order to offer their thoughts on the best way to coexist. Thousands of years later, a modest minister named Ralph Waldo Emerson stepped up and told the world that everything about our society and our mindset about it is wrong. People have turned into numb, mindless monsters, using others and stepping on them in order to rise higher. He rejected the social order and started a counterculture—but is his counterculture so different from the ideals of the ancients? Perhaps Emerson’s and Aristotle’s ideas of the ideal man, the scholar, the “world’s eye” and “the world’s heart” is one and the same as Aristotle’s idea of a good citizen and even more so, a good ruler.
Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the foremost Transcendentalists, famous for pioneering a movement that has inspired numerous people to be introspective and to really see what all that they are missing in their lives. Although many praise him as one of the founders of a counterculture, in reality, his thoughts about how people should live and how true scholars should be are extremely similar to what Aristotle spoke of in his Politics, thousands of years before Emerson was even born. Thus it is interesting that there are such striking similarities between the two definitions of Emerson’s “American Scholar” and Aristotle’s “true citizen”/ “good ruler.”

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...t thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson and what respected philosopher Aristotle believed to be a “true scholar” and a “good ruler.” Perhaps this is a testament to how similar most philosophies actually are. Maybe it even means that Transcendentalists are not actually as much of a counterculture as they thought they were. Although they were avidly against the machine-like, corrupted, polluted society that they were living in, it seems that the Transcendentalists might have actually had a great deal more in common with thinkers from long ago than they believed. This begs another thought: if Aristotle and Emerson believed in such similar ideologies, perhaps Aristotle would not approve of the way that man has transformed his original thoughts. Certainly Emerson did not, and as Emerson and Aristotle think so similarly, perchance Aristotle would protest the current system as well.

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