Have you ever wished that you could just do things how ever you wanted without having to worry about laws, rules, or other social pressures?Sounds pretty nice in theory, but whether we like it or not, there will always be external consequences for our actions.For Emerson, one of the most important things for scholars or any other member of the body to do, then, is to understand and appreciate what each part provides to the whole.
For the remainder of his speech, the philosopher condemned contemporary American society as too greedy and too dependent on predominantly European thinkers to direct their own thoughts.
Ultimately, Emerson believed the American scholar exists in the heart of every citizen, and that this self-possessed intellectual force could help the country transcend its shortcomings.
If other members of that body are the legs and stomach, Emerson saw scholars as the intellect.
But, just like our individual bodies won't function when the brain is disconnected from the rest, so, too, humanity suffers severe dysfunction when its scholars are out of sync.
However, he did acknowledge that it is essential, focusing on the value of experiences in the life of a thinker.
He even went so far as to say the greatest value of action to the mind is like that of books, and better, since actions are also a great source of inspiration and 'Thinking (itself) is a partial act.' Emerson thought the office of the scholar is to cheer, to raise, and to guide men by showing them facts amidst appearances.Try it risk-free Do you ever wonder if we've run out of new ideas?Well, don't be so sure until you read this lesson with a synopsis and analysis of 'The American Scholar' by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the quintessential American scholar himself.He observed that we originally classify things in nature (i.e., biologically) as separate from one another.However, after dealing with these classifications for so long, Emerson found that our minds begin to see more and more common patterns between things we used to consider different, rendering any further classification unnecessary.One especially poignant observation that he made was that America was 'eat(ing) upon itself' in its state of confusion and greed leading up to the Civil War.Ultimately, he knew that greed would be not just America's undoing, but that of the whole human race if slaves and scholars alike remained caged.Nevertheless, renowned American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson thought the rewards of going your own way far outweighed the risks - a notion central to his landmark speech, ' The American Scholar'.In this oration delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge on August 31, 1837, Emerson stressed the idea that all individuals are really just parts of 'One Man,' similar to how individual limbs make up a single body.One thing Emerson thought nature never intended, though, was for one part of the universe to be enslaved to another in any way.In the context of his speech and the pre-Civil War America Emerson delivered it to, this idea worked in two ways: Emerson connected both states of servitude to the same problem - greed.