Throughout “Mediations I and II”, Descartes disputes definitions of reality and identity, establishing a precursor to Emerson’s philosophy. Initially, Descartes questions all notions of being. In “Mediation I”, Descartes begins his argument explaining the senses which perceive reality can be deceptive and “it is wiser not to trust entirely to any thing by which we have once been deceived” (Descartes 59). But, he then continues to reason; “opinions [are] in some measure doubtful…and at the same time highly probable, so that there is much more reason to believe in than to deny them” (Descartes 62). Descartes maintains trust within his established personal beliefs though he may doubt certain physical senses. Additionally, Descartes seeks to establish his identity in “Meditation II”. Even as he questions his very existence, he begins trustin...
... middle of paper ...
... personal beliefs, and search for identity, consolidate his hypothesis with Emerson’s by providing a foundation for his ‘self-trust’ ideals. Additionally, Emerson’s thesis mirrors Plato’s as accepted social, historical, and scholastic viewpoints need challenged. Emerson’s definitions of ‘self-trust’ and ‘Man Thinking’ effectively reconcile discrepancies between the three philosophers’ ideology, establishing a basis for truth in philosophy.
Descartes, Rene. “Meditation I & Meditation II”. Discourse on the Method and Meditations on First Philosophy. Yale University Press., 1996.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “The American Scholar”. American Public Addresses 1740 – 1952. A. Craid Baird. McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1956.
Plato. “Allegory of the Cave”. Plato Republic. Trans. G.M.A. Grube. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1992.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Throughout human existence, scholars have earnestly pursued knowledge and the attainment of truth. Historical figures such as Plato, Descartes, and Emerson sought answers to daunting questions of: ‘What is truth. What is reality. How is wisdom acquired?’ Many scholars believe these philosophers presented conflicting viewpoints: Plato encouraging skepticism among all previous historical, cultural, and personal perspectives, biases, and assumptions; Descartes questioning definitions of reality and his very existence; Emerson encouraging self-trust and confidence one’s ideals, opinions, and convictions.... [tags: Philosophy ]
1172 words (3.3 pages)
- Emerson's Philosophy Emerson placed an emphasis on three primary aspects of life that illustrate the most crucial elements of humanity; nature, education and action. According to his theology, nature is the chief facet and because of its universal features, it arguably encompasses the remaining two tenets. Nature supports progress and action by providing physical accommodations in the form of material assets while simultaneously feeding the emotional hunger of man with inspirational beauty. His entire philosophy is embedded in the belief that an external presence shapes and influences the spiritual, intellectual, and physical elements of the individual.... [tags: Emerson Philosophy Philosophical Essays]
627 words (1.8 pages)
- "In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, - no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, - my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, - all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball. I am nothing. I see all. The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God." -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (1836) In his essay, "Nature", Ralph Waldo Emerson describes man's relationship to nature and to God.... [tags: Emerson Nature Philosophy]
933 words (2.7 pages)
Ralph Waldo Emerson's Transcendentalist Philosophy and Its Influence on Margaret Fuller's Feminist Philosophy
- Ralph Waldo Emerson's Transcendentalist Philosophy and Its Influence on Margaret Fuller's Feminist Philosophy Ralph Waldo Emerson was a leading thinker in the American Transcendentalist movement, who first proposed many of the movement’s most influential ideas regarding the relation between the human mind and the world. He believed each person to possess a “soul,” a power within the self to uniquely perceive and understand the world, and grasp the intricate relationships between all things; Emerson’s universe was infinitely knowable, and his ideal, independent soul should be in a state of constant consideration and reevaluation of the world around him.... [tags: Emerson Fuller Philosophies Transcendentalism]
2039 words (5.8 pages)
- Transcendentalism Essay Transcendentalism is the system of philosophy that leads to reality. William Bryant, Henry Thoreau, and Ralph Emerson illustrate the ideas of transcendentalism through their works. Although transcendentalism is an opinionated subject, there are still universal judgments about the philosophy. An argument presented in Thanatopsis (Bryant’s work) is that constantly worrying about death is pointless because it’s a perpetual fact of life. There is no stopping it. Bryant, Thoreau, and Emerson employs paradox, pathos, and logos to illustrate their believes on individualism, death, and self-reliance.... [tags: Emerson, Bryant, Thoreau]
734 words (2.1 pages)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self Reliance" Ralph Waldo Emerson believes he writes quite the persuading argument in 'Self-Reliance.' Wielding his pen as if it were Excalibur, he vies to stimulate and challenge the down-trodden mind in his classic work on the American Spirit. His lines are affecting, romantic, and hypnotic, especially at the first reading; his thoughts on the page beget inspiration for the reader. 'Self-Reliance' has its value in its boldness, its construction, and mature attitudes toward consistency and failure.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson Reliance Essays]
1425 words (4.1 pages)
- In understanding this quotation, it is absolutely essential to be cognizant of the context in which “Self-Reliance” was written. The philosophical and social movement that Emerson and his contemporaries founded, Transcendentalism, espoused the idea that although America had formally gained political independence, Europeans possessed virtually hegemonic control over the culture of America. Emerson and his contemporaries sought not only to pioneer a uniquely American style of literature, but also to forge a distinct culture and ethos independent from those of Europe.... [tags: Philosophy, Unapologetic Individualism]
679 words (1.9 pages)
- Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Emerson graduated from Harvard University at the age of 18 and for the next three years taught school in Boston. In 1825 he entered Harvard Divinity School, and the next year he was certified to preach by the Middlesex Association of Ministers. Even with ill health, Emerson delivered occasional lecture in churches in the Boston area. In 1829 he became minister of the Second Church (Unitarian) of Boston. That same year he married Ellen Tucker, who died 17 months later.... [tags: essays research papers]
573 words (1.6 pages)
- Emerson emphasizes over and over again that in order to gain ones own independence, one must first abandon all learned things and seek to accumulate thereafter only the knowledge which one attains firsthand and deems pertinent to be assimilated into ones own truth. "Nothing is at last sacred, but the integrity of your own mind" states Emerson, because "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself" (Emerson 203). Emerson ultimately arrives at the conclusion that one must be self aware.... [tags: essays research papers]
521 words (1.5 pages)
- The relatively obscure release of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s first book, Nature, in 1836, gave few clues to the celebrity and influence which would later be enjoyed by its author. The piece was originally published anonymously but did mark the beginning of Emerson’s future role of mentor, lecturer, and teacher. His scope was wide, attracting a number of admirers across Massachusetts, reaching audiences from both his literary works, as well as his numerous appearances on the university lecture circuit.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
1814 words (5.2 pages)