Emerson'S Essay On Plato

He acknowledges the ineffable and yet asserts that things are knowable; a lover of limits, he yet loves the illimitable.

For Plato, virtue cannot be taught; it is divinely inspired.

Transcendentalism in America, of which Emerson was the leading figure, resembled British Romanticism in its precept that a fundamental continuity exists between man, nature, and God, or the divine.

What is beyond nature is revealed through nature; nature is itself a symbol, or an indication of a deeper reality, in Emerson’s philosophy.

Emerson views the representative philosopher Plato as an exhausting generalizer, a symbol of philosophy itself, a thinker whom people of all nations in all times recognize as kin to themselves.

He absorbed the learning of his times, but Emerson sees in him a modern style and spirit identifying him with later ages as well.

Emerson warns that such books as Swedenborg’s treatise on...

In his lifetime, Ralph Waldo Emerson became the most widely known man of letters in America, establishing himself as a prolific poet, essayist, popular lecturer, and an advocate of social reforms who was nevertheless suspicious of reform and reformers.

Plato honors the ideal, or laws of the mind, and fate, or the order of nature. He sees unity, or identity, on one hand and variety on the other.

In him is found the idea (not original, it is true) of one deity in whom all things are absorbed.


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