<literature, history of philosophy> American writer (1817-1862). Thoreau's essay "On Civil Disobedience" (1849) is a classic statement of the principles, later employed by Gandhi and King, of passive resistance against governmental authority on the basis of individual conscience. Thoreau's Walden, or Life in the Woods (1854) describes and recommends a spontaneous life of creativity in purposeful union with the natural world. Recommended Reading: The Portable Thoreau, ed. by Carl Bode (Viking, 1977) and Robert D. Richardson, Jr. and Barry Moser, Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind (California, 1988).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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