What are Emerson's views on philanthropy?

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janeyb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"are they my poor?" Emerson asks in his Essay "Self-Reliance". Philanthropy, therefore, is out of the question. Self-reliance is god's purpose and to help others would be going against God's purpose. A man is only true to himself, Emerson believes, when one has self-worth, and self-worth comes only through self reliance. Philanthropy, therefore, does not work.

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