Henry David Thoreau

Debate I Philosopher Project


Born in Concord, Massachusetts in 1817

Attended Harvard University

Mentored by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lived with Emerson and discovered an obsession with nature

Influenced by Emerson's transcendentalism and began work in literature and philosophy


More to life that what could be experienced by the senses

More knowledge than what human could understand or discover

Emphasized self-examination, individualism, and worldly beauty

Significance in Debate

Government is best which governs the least

Government is corrupt and promotes inequality

Listen to your conscience rather than government mandated laws