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Transatlantic TranscendentalismColeridge, Emerson, and Nature$
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Samantha Harvey

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748681365

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748681365.001.0001

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Emerson's Nature: Coleridge's Method and the Romantic Triad

Emerson's Nature: Coleridge's Method and the Romantic Triad

Chapter:
(p.119) Chapter 7 Emerson's Nature: Coleridge's Method and the Romantic Triad
Source:
Transatlantic Transcendentalism
Author(s):

Samantha C. Harvey

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748681365.003.0007

Chapter 7, “Emerson's Nature: Coleridge's Method and the Romantic Triad,” investigates Emerson's most famous – and most Coleridgean – essay. Despite the profound debt to Coleridge, it was still a highly original work. Nature posed a central question of the Romantic triad: “To what end is nature?” and applied Coleridge's distinctions and method to answer it. On one hand, Coleridge's definitions and distinctions, including reason and understanding, natura naturans and natura naturata, symbol, imagination, and the poet-prophet, were instrumental in organizing the eight chapters and numerous sub-sections of Nature. On the other hand, Coleridge's method affected the essay in a different way, encouraging the development of a dynamic model of the Romantic triad in place of a rigid or ossified philosophical or theological system. Ultimately Nature was not a metaphysical treatise, but an educative and pragmatic modeling of the Romantic triad of nature, spirit, and humanity, establishing a significant legacy for Transatlantic Transcendentalism.

Keywords:   Coleridge, Emerson, Nature, method, distinctions, reason and understanding, natura naturans and natura naturata, symbol, imagination, poet-prophet

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