Giuseppe Bottaro

Friendship, wisdom and democracy in Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Emerson; Democracy; Friendship; Citizenship; Wisdom.

Liberalism restrains the concept of friendship to the simple private sphere in which individuals wish to weave friendly relations only with other individuals chosen consciously and independently of being citizens. The conception of friendship and citizenship that Ralph Waldo Emerson draws up can be considered as the link between his strong impulse to the exaltation of liberal individualism and the tension towards the construction of the modern state as democratic association. Democracy and freedom are derived from the sacred truth that every man possesses in himself the divine reason and was created equal to every other man, and therefore, according to Emerson, the only principle to establish a true republic is represented by goodwill.

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