Life without Principle
by Henry David Thoreau - 1863 - with annotated text
"Let us consider the way in which we spend our lives." 

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"... in a few pages the very essence of Thoreau's philosophy. ... It is pure Transcendentalism, a plea that each follow his own inner light." - Walter Harding, The Days of Henry Thoreau

"'Life without Principle' is the finest of Thoreau's negatives. Here is the woodchuck Thoreau, gritting his teeth until they are powdered." - Henry Canby, Thoreau

"Life without Principle" in two parts: One - Two

"Life without Principle" originated as "What Shall it Profit," a lecture delivered at Railroad Hall in Providence, Rhode Island, December 6, 1854, four more times in Massachusetts in 1855, and once in New Jersey in 1856. This version was edited by Thoreau for publication before he died, and published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1863, where it received its modern title. 

From the Thoreau Society: The Educational DVD:  Life With Principle -The focus is on Thoreau’s penetrating questions about how to live ethically and responsibly as part of nature and part of society – questions which transcend regional and national boundaries, and lead us to confront the way we live our lives. Interviews with dozens of students and adults include Daniel Ellsberg, Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky.

More information: Links to other "Life without Principle" pages

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