This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

American Philosophy Essay

664 words - 3 pages

American Philosophy


In all its forms, American philosophy emphasizes freedom and the supreme importance of the individual. Indeed, an examination of four major American writers shows these concepts in all four main schools of American thought-- Epicureanism, Transcendentalism, Pragmatism, and Protestantism.
Epicureanism is the pursuit of pleasure in order to avoid pain. This philosophy is very American. One of the most famous American-Epicureans is Walt Whitman. Whitman is, perhaps, America's greatest poet. He was an ardent supporter of freedom and democracy. His poetry not only reflected his love and respect for America, but also the importance and the needs of the individual. Whitman's love for America stems from the fact that, in America, the individual has the right to pursue whatever makes him or her happy. This concept is the basis for Epicureanism. Just as the United States is associated with liberation and freedom, so is Walt Whitman. Whitman wanted to liberate Americans from their sexual conduct and exercise their freedom. Whitman expressed that through the freedom granted to Americans, individuals are able to have freedom of their senses, in particular sexual senses. Many of Whitman's poems contain graphic sex scenes. By describing his own feelings, Whitman hoped to encourage other Americans to pursue their own feelings in a country that allowed it.
Transcendentalism is another American philosophy that also deals heavily with the individual. Transcendentalists believed formalized society oppressed the individual. Thus, they strove to create a doctrine that stressed the importance of the individual. Ralph Waldo Emerson suggested this idea in his book Nature. Emerson maintains that man is one with Nature and Nature is one with God, therefore giving the ordinary individual validity and worth. These two qualities are attributes that every American is familiar with and has a desire for. Another Transcendental concept is the phrase "Trust Thyself." Transcendentalists believed that human nature is...

Find Another Essay On American Philosophy

American Philosophy Story Essay

919 words - 4 pages level of selflessness is that which is displayed by someone in his or her ethical stage. These actions of Tate accurately depict Kierkgaard's stages of life. Tate fits into two of the stages of life at one point or another in the episode "Piggy, Piggy." The actions of Tate in "Smoldering Children" display points of act utilitarianism. Tate shows the traits of this philosophy by making choices depending on their potential consequences, including

American Philosophy Story Essay

716 words - 3 pages Throughout each day every person encounters many situations that could be interpreted as hidden, philosophical lessons. In most cases we are unable to notice these important factors that shape us as people. As many would agree, I think that it is our duty to find a deeper meaning in everyday tasks and activities. One way we can begin to put this into practice is by taking a look at potentially the most influential thing in our life: pop culture

The Impact of Greek Philosophy on American Education

1833 words - 7 pages The modern world is becoming more complex day by day, and it seems that most of what surrounds us is actually the result of various ancient practices of philosophy. From the structure and foundation of Government to the fine arts we have today, it is all because of philosophy, and especially the philosophy of the ancient Greeks. Records of history show Greece as the birthplace of philosophic thought, it is said that Philosophy is

Philosophy

3719 words - 15 pages philosophy, of course, can hardly fail at some point to have this brought to their attention. The strongest logical response was from Bertrand Russell, who tried to argue that nothing could logically refer to itself (called his "Theory of Logical Types" [2]). That was a move that defeated itself, since in presenting the Theory of Types, Russell can hardly avoid referring to the Theory of Types, which is to do something that he is in the

Educational Philosophy

1332 words - 5 pages teacher, I am a firm believer in studying and learning from history and my personal educational philosophy is derived from the five educational philosophies and the many educators who have shaped the American educational system.An educational philosophy is an essential component to administrators and educators in schools across America. An educational philosophy determines the direction of the school's curriculum and eventually the academic

Nursing Philosophy

1755 words - 7 pages Introduction The American Association of Nursing defines nursing as the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities…and advocacy (Nursingworld.org). It is important for nurses to have a philosophy in which to work by and different types of nurses will have different viewpoints and concerns depending on the area of nursing in which they work. Although many things will be different certain core things will be the same such as

philosophy paper

2050 words - 9 pages congruent with this philosophy. Making the decision to obtain a Therapeutic Recreation Specialization (TRS) degree offered a theoretical rationale in which to further explore the concept of leisure, define my professional philosophy and an opportunity to reflect critically on the field which I have chosen and my evolving role within it. Defining Leisure Perhaps one of the more perplexing conditions of offering leisure to all is choosing how I

Buddhist Philosophy

1653 words - 7 pages Perhaps one of the biggest influences in Philosophy around the world is religion. Whether we know it or not, growing up with or without a religion, instills into us many philosophies that affect our views on life and it’s meaning is. In my own life I have been greatly impacted by Sikhism, which is the religion that I was born into. Although I did not choose to be born into it, the philosophies and ideas present in Sikhism it became a part of my

Philosophy Overview

10212 words - 41 pages 1. Mythology and philosophy: the rational and the irrational. Criteria of rational knowledgeMythology - is the way of explaining and ordering what is explained and interpreted. This is a mixture of both reason and unreason, of reason and passions. Is about non-rational or irrational aspects of human mentality. It is the way of thinking what we found around ourselves. Mythology is the way of thinking what we found around ourselves.Philosophy

Teaching Philosophy

699 words - 3 pages Teaching Philosophy As a teacher I have a great responsibility and will strive to have a positive impact in each one of my students’ lives, inside and outside of the classroom. As an educator I believe that I will play many roles-a facilitator, a mentor, and a friend. With these functions I will contribute to helping my students deal with the daily obstacles that they may face throughout their lives, academically and socially. There

Greek Philosophy

987 words - 4 pages ; he lived in the sixth-century and was an Ionian. Thales wanted to look for facts and explanations for philosophy. Thales’s major influence was from the Egyptians and Babylonians, but their findings helped him to have a starting point in his studies (Lippincott 76). Thales became the first to not explain that everything in the world is controlled by gods, but instead he used his scientific findings to explain why the world has different kinds of

Similar Essays

American Philosophy Essay

1099 words - 4 pages became the chairman of the department of philosophy, psychology, and pedagogy at the University of Chicago. In 1899, John Dewey was elected president of the American Psychological Association, and in 1905 he became president of the American Philosophical Association. Dewey taught at Columbia University from 1905 until he retired in 1930, and occasionally taught as professor emeritus until 1939. During his years at Columbia he traveled the world

Process Philosophy In American Society Essay

1005 words - 4 pages worldview they in turn will turn to another belief or set of values that reject the supernatural and replaces it with another aspect of life. One of those alternate philosophies would be process philosophy. Process philosophy is the belief that reality and life is not fixed or absolute meaning that everything within reality has the ability to change and progress as time continues on. Process philosophy has had a great effect on American society

Global Ethics: The Personal Philosophy Of An American Expatriate

2173 words - 9 pages follow and instead focus on helping people develop good character traits. Alternatively, Velasquez et al. suggested that virtue-based ethics can be helpful for individuals learning new behaviors and can teach them how to break bad habits. The Personal Philosophy of an American Expatriate Utilitarianism, deontological, and virtue-based ethical theories are important and help to shape the behavior of all individuals and this writer is no exception

Title: The Tralfamadorian Vonnegut Philosophy Against War Desc: A Comparison Between American War Philosophys And The Tralfamadorian Philosophy

572 words - 2 pages In Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut the Tralfamadorian philosophy is introduced. The Tralfamadorians don't experience time in a line, and are able to only live in the happy moments if they wish. Vonnegut makes a strong correlation between the Tralfamadorian philosophy and the American war philosophy; killing millions of people for no reason, and then telling the public of how heroic our American soldiers are.The Tralfamadorian philosophy is