Svetozar Poštić

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Ralph Waldo Emerson was an ardent admirer of Michel de Montaigne, his 16th-century French predecessor. He was indebted to his fellow writer and philosopher for both content and style. Moreover, it could be argued that Montaigne influenced Emerson's worldview as well. They have both been called naturalists by the critics for their theoretic outlook, but their naturalisms have never been linked as their guiding philosophical conviction. Both Montaigne and Emerson praised nature and everything "natural," including humans, and saw nature imbued with a guiding, omnipotent spirit. Influenced by the poets and philosophers of antiquity, his intellectual guiding lights, Montaigne used the words "nature" and "God" interchangeably, while Emerson suffused nature with a divine essence. Both writers thus contributed to the disenchantment of the world and depersonalization of the once divinized Creator.



Montaigne, Emerson, nature, naturalism

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