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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 May 2020

Nature: Philosophy and the “Riddle of the World”

Nature: Philosophy and the “Riddle of the World”

(p.40) Chapter 3 Nature: Philosophy and the “Riddle of the World”
Transatlantic Transcendentalism

Samantha C. Harvey

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 3, “Nature: Philosophy and the ‘Riddle of the World,’” establishes Coleridge's centrality for the new kind of philosophical thinking at work in Transatlantic Transcendentalism. Emerson gravitated toward Coleridge's integration of disparate philosophical and critical traditions, particularly those that harmonized the Romantic triad of nature, spirit, and humanity without rigidly circumscribing their exact relation. Coleridge's “dynamic philosophy” articulated in the BiographiaLiteraria inspired Emerson to formulate a “first philosophy” of his own. These philosophical endeavors shared similar underpinnings: both were essentially idealistic, but resisted abandoning experience of the natural world. Both engaged polar terminology and sought to encompass the disciplines of theology, literature, science, and ethics. Most importantly, these systems were fragmentary and incomplete, yet played a vital role in Coleridge's and Emerson's literary productions.

Keywords:   Coleridge, Emerson, nature, philosophy, “dynamic philosophy”, “first philosophy”, interdisciplinary, idealism, empiricism

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