The American scholar—and we can't forget the distinction of the American, as opposed to the European scholar—has, first, a duty not to be a "meek bookworm," docilely reading the great authors of the past and blindly doing what they say. Instead, Emerson argues that it is the duty of the American scholar to think for himself and evaluate these old ideas. A distinctly American scholar must not be content to be derivative—he must be strive for genius which:
looks forward: the eyes of man are set in his forehead, not in his hindhead
Emerson also states that the American scholar also has a duty not to be a recluse. He must embrace action and experience as the basis of knowledge, along with books. As Emerson says:
I will not shut myself out of this globe of action, and transplant an oak into a flower-pot
Furthermore, unlike the Europeans (who, Emerson says, "whittle" away at one idea until they have nothing left), an American scholar has a duty to be a broad-minded generalist.
In addition, the...
(The entire section contains 3 answers and 687 words.)