Philosophy Index

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) was a 19th-century philosopher and poet, and one of the leaders of American transcendentalism.

Emerson began to reject central tenets of the Christian religion in his area, and instead described a deeper connection between God and all things, granting a sense of divinity to everything. The accessibility of divine truth in nature, rather than merely through revelation, became a central point in his transcendentalism.

Emerson lived during the American Civil War and gradually became an outspoken member of the abolitionist movement against slavery.

Selected Works

  • ‘Nature’ (Essay, 1836)
  • ‘The American Scholar’ (Speech, 1837)
  • ‘Experience’ (Essay, 1884)
  • ‘Politics’ (Essay, 1884)


Name: Ralph Waldo Emerson
Born: May 25, 1803
Died: April 27, 1882