Ralph Waldo Emerson spent a lot of his time and energy as a lecturer, cultural observer and literary artist to explore a habitable future for America characterized by exciting and unusual technological advances, popular fascination with science, and industrialization. The time when he lived was the era of science. Machines, inventions and all the advances of technology dominated the thoughts of all great people, artists, scholars, etc. The 19th century confirmed that the greatest invention of this century was the method of invention. This means the acquisition of technical and scientific knowledge and the ability to work systematically to reach great results. The sweep of the industrial revolution in Great Britain would appear to indicate that this characteristic of the age was exploited by industry. The century was full of examples of technically oriented scientific investigations that leading to pure scientific knowledge.
In fact, his writings, Emerson epitomized the conflict between the domination of nature and human progress in the nineteenth century. In his early years, he praised the progress that came from technological achievements.
Emerson believed that intellect was primary and nature was secondary. Imagination was the exercise of intellect by which humans are lifted up. As such, in his early writings, he commends the clever and insightful ways in which mankind makes use of nature. However, he didn’t consider that human activity can harm the nature. the railroad, which was the most awesome expression of technological prowess in its day, was at first greeted by Emerson with great delight. He also was excited with man's employment of steam. However, he was worried about the dulling and desensitizing impact that technology has on people by routinizing and mechanizing activities to such an extent that it tended to further separate humans from nature, rather than linking us to it.
Emerson believes that the nature is extremely important and he states that people are made strong by employing Nature. For instance, the forces of steam, gravity, light, magnets and wind, fire, are used by people and they cost nothing to us.
So Ralph Waldo Emerson was indisputably brilliant American lecturer and poet who had his own and interesting view on technology and progress. In addition, his ideas are still topical nowadays.
Ralph Waldo Emerson spent a lot of his time and energy as a lecturer, cultural observer and literary artist to explore a habitable future for America characterized by exciting and unusual technological advances, popular fascination with science, and industrialization. The time when he lived was the era of science.