Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark

Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark

Caspar David Friedrich - The Wanderer above the mists, 1818.

“Often categorized as a rationalist philosopher, Wollstonecraft demonstrates her commitment to and appreciation of feeling in Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. She argues that subjective experiences, such as the transcendent emotions prompted by the sublime and the beautiful, possess a value equal to the objective truths discovered through reason. In Wollstonecraft’s earlier works, reason was paramount, because it allowed access to universal truths. In Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, however, reason serves as a tool for reflection, mediating between the sensual experiences of the world and an abstract notion of truth (not necessarily universal truth). Maturation is not only the acquisition of reason—the view Wollstonecraft had adopted in Original Stories from Real Life (1788)—but also an understanding of when and how to trust one’s emotions.”

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