How Do We See Our World?

We have learned that we do not see directly, but mediately, and that we have no means of correcting these colored and distorting lenses which we are, or of computing the amount of their errors. Perhaps these sense-lenses have a creative power; perhaps there are no objects.

The Spiritual Emerson
Experience (1844)
Essay from The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

see also The Spiritual Emerson: Essential Writings by Ralph Waldo Emerson

 


Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803-1882

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a discerning critic of the countervailing pressures of society. Emerson formulated the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. Centered in New England during the 19th century, Transcendentalism was a reaction against scientific rationalism. Emerson disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.

Internet resources for Ralph Waldo Emerson:

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