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The American ClassicsA Personal Essay$
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Denis Donoghue

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300107814

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300107814.001.0001

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Emerson and “The American Scholar”

Emerson and “The American Scholar”

(p.23) 1 Emerson and “The American Scholar”
The American Classics

Denis Donoghue

Yale University Press

This chapter examines Ralph Waldo Emerson's 1837 annual Phi Beta Kappa Lecture titled “The American Scholar.” It explains that Emerson spoke about the conditions and influences which bear upon the scholar as if each were to be understood in terms of philosophic Idealism and that this address represented a secular turn of his mind. It also discusses Emerson's opinion that scholars can only find consolation in knowing that they exercise the highest functions of human nature.

Keywords:   Ralph Waldo Emerson, Phi Beta Kappa Lecture, The American Scholar, scholar, Idealism, human nature

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