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Science, Culture, and Society

Essays: Self-Reliance

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Short Description

Emerson created a collection of 12 essays, which include his famous stance on self-reliance. In Self-Reliance, he strongly advocates standing alone behind one’s own principles against the tides of conformity and society.

Remnant Trust Description

First edition of Emerson’s Essays, including ‘Self-Reliance’: to believe your own thought...that is genius. This important collection of twelve essays includes his famous essay on self-reliance, as well as essays on compensation, and other subjects. "Timeless, and without a trace of ‘dating,’ these essays are as readable, and to a considerable extent as much read, today as a hundred years ago. Their ethical inspiration and stimulation, their occasional startling phrase, their individualistic idealism, which stirred renascent Yankee New England to its depths, speaks with the same simple power and force in the midst of modern complexities." It is Emerson’s essay on self-reliance, in which he strongly advocates standing alone behind one’s own principles against the tides of conformity and society, which is perhaps his most famous: Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist...our own mind...No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature...the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it...What I must do, is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual between greatness and meanness...A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines...To be great is to be misunderstood...Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.