"The Beautiful Necessity": Emerson and the Stoic Tradition

Ralph Waldo Emerson's appropriation of the Stoic tradition occupied a central and enduring place in his worldview, as is abundantly clear from his essays, poems, and journals. Just as clearly, like other modern thinkers and writers influenced by Stoicism as "perennial philosophy," Emerson interpreted what he learned within a historical framework shaped by Christianity, liberalism, and democracy as well as by influences particular to his own thought and his personal experience. In my paper I will briefly review the main ideas of ancient Stoicism, consider the changes introduced by modern versions of the Stoic tradition, and then indicate what ideas Emerson specifically appropriated and what role they played in his ..
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