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EMERSONS PHILOSOPHY OF ROMANTIC IDEALISM A psychological writer such as Ralph Waldo Emerson can be analyzed and interpreted in several different ways A few things that may affect the way that people interpret Emerson are past experiences time period and social climate Emerson has proven to be one of the most influential writers of the Romantic time period and his ideas and writings still have an active role in social views today Emerson has published works such as Compensation Self-Reliance and his first published essay Nature published in 1836 These essays serve as a gathering of Emersons ideas and morals about man and how man reacts to the world that he lives in Emerson says Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this the only right is what is after my constitution the only wrong is against it Manley 1 Emerson explains his cocky point of view in this quotation about good and bad Romanticism for Emerson was a period of time that broke down old social barriers and set new standards for society The general attitude toward man was drastically changed the individual became the center of life and experience Everything that happened revolved around the individual and directly affected the individual Also the belief that mans experiences shape his personality and overall life was formed during Romanticism The core of man was viewed as strictly emotion and inner perception of truth Mans inner world was a heavily studied topic from which creativity and imagination emerged Nature and the past were two other heavily studied parts of human life Emerson stated that nature is a machine that can develop and change it is beautiful yet mysterious and most importantly many spiritual and moral lessons can be learned through experiences with nature In other words nature shows a parallel to man and therefore man can directly learn from nature The past was an interest and curiosity of the Romantic era
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