The social philosophy of Henry David Thoreau
Burns, Henry Johnson
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The thesis presents the social philosophy of Henry David Thoreau. Though he wrote no explicit philosophy, his social views were analyzed to discover underlying general assumptions. His concept of the nature of man was used as a departure point in this thesis. His writings were the primary source material. Critical and biographical works were used for background information. Thoreau accepted the Transcendental ideas that man's nature transcends his experiences, that he is a supernatural being, and that he is able to influence the moral universe. Thoreau held that man's position in the universe was central, that he was, by nature, good, that he was a spiritual force in the universe and that the universe was friendly to man's ambitions. Thoreau concluded that man's possibilities were unlimited if he would only recognize the spiritual nature of his being. Transcendentalism also influenced Thoreau to hold that the absolute laws were manifested in man. He concluded that one's obligation should be to follow these laws. Thoreau carried this idea to its extreme by advocating a life of being good rather than doing good. One would be good by following the higher laws as they were conveyed to man through conscience. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University. Missing pages 26-30.PLEASE NOTE: Boston University Libraries did not receive an Authorization To Manage form for this thesis or dissertation. It is therefore not openly accessible, though it may be available by request. If you are the author or principal advisor of this work and would like to request open access for it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.