Ben Franklin Essays

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Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature (New York: Seltzer, 1923). Man is dominated by the making of money, by acquisition as the ultimate purpose of his life.

is thought of so purely as an end in itself, that from the point of view of the happiness of, or utility to, the single individual, it appears entirely transcendental and absolutely irrational. It expresses a type of feeling which is closely connected with certain religious ideas.

Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, (New York: Chas. Every sort of natural phenomenon enlisted [Franklin's] interest and called forth some ingenious idea.

Hence the theory that only when he confronted nature as a scientist was he wholly committed.

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Fineman, Introduction to the Autobiography (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964). Benjamin Franklin himself answers in his Autobiography with a quotation from the Bible, which his Calvinistic father drummed into him . in his youth: 'Seest thou a man diligent in his business? I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children; and being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and gave all my money for one.I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. The Autobiography is also a uniquely American book. His Autobiography records these achievements and values and habits which made them possible, and tells how a remarkable human being used his heritage and created a life on a new, revolutionary model. he passed on not a system but the empirical method which American leaders have generally adopted. Crane, "Benjamin Franklin and a Rising People," The Library of American Biography (Boston: Little, Brown, 1954). There was in America a society which valued the things Franklin could do well: work hard, write effectively, plan improvements, conciliate differences, and conduct public affairs with popular needs and interests in view. Are you sure you want to remove #book Confirmation# and any corresponding bookmarks? We do all like to get things inside a barbed-wire corral. We love to round them up inside the barbed-wire enclosure of FREEDOM, and make 'em work. In fact, the summum bonum of [Franklin's] ethic, the earning of more and more money. Economic acquisition is no longer subordinated to man as the means for the satisfaction of his material needs. He tries to take away my wholeness and my dark forest, my freedom. And why, oh why should the snuff-coloured little trap have wanted to take us all in?


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