Self-Reliance by philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson

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According to philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay, Self-Reliance, polite society has an influence on a person's maturation. Self-sufficiency allows a person to realize their actual self and achieve full independence. Ralph contends that maturation is the process through which a person loses moral emotions or the spirit of nonconformity. He opposes the concept of generosity since it fosters reliance on outside assistance. Existence, according to Ralph, is an organic process full of paradoxes; yet, if a person acts on their real feelings, they will have a good life. He emphasizes the importance of nonconformity, he states that an instinct or intuition one simply follows the command and act according to intuition (Emerson 84). He opines that presence of the self-sufficing and self-contained universal spirit in a person is a justification that a person is supposed to live the present life without regard to the past or the future. Reading the article further indicates that Ralph there a potential of all human reincarnating in a word, therefore there is no need to regret about the past.

Ralph is against the idea of a person accepting ideas of other people, instead, he advocates for the people to think for themselves. This is an indicator that Ralph is promoting aspects of individualism. He characterizes the self-esteem of a person as childlike because the children are not cynical, hesitant or hypocritical but is self-reliant. He argues that an individual should resist pressure to conform to external norms, including that from the society because it conspires to defeat self-reliance of the members. The article further indicates that Ralph supports the notion that it is better to live truly and obscurely instead of exposing your goodness to the public.

Work Cited

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Self-reliance and other essays. Courier Corporation, 2012.

October 07, 2021

Sociology Literature



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