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Self-Reliance

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By sanayaw1227
Words 650
Pages 3
Sanaya Williams
PH-221
Professor Bradley
Final Paper- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Self-Reliance
“Self- Reliance” is considered one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s best-known essays. The essay was first published in 1841 in his collection, Essays: First Series. This essay contains the most thorough statement of Emerson’s emphasis on the need for individuals to avoid conformity and false consistency, and instead follow their own instincts and ideas. This essay shows Emerson’s ways for making and translating classical philosophy and turning it to comprehensible language, and signifying its relevance to everyday life. It is broken into three sections: the value of and barriers to self-reliance, self-reliance and the individual, and self-reliance and society. The Value of and Barriers to Self-Reliance was my favorite section. Emerson began his essay with the assertion, “To believe in your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men.” This one statement summed up what I thought self-reliance was which was the reliance upon one’s own thoughts and ideas. In this section Emerson argues that people such as Plato are held at the highest regard simply because they spoke what they thought. Plato did not rely on the words of someone else, books, or tradition. Emerson explained that another barrier for self-reliance is the fear of our own consistency. A quote that went along with his example would be “a reverence for our past act for computing out orbit than our past acts, and we are loth to disappoint them.” This to me means that we as humans rather than act with a false consistency to a past memory, we must always live in the present. I go by always going by what’s for today and not worrying about what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. I don’t take it as fear because it’s mostly why dwell on what happened in the past…...

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