Joseph Wood Krutch was a man of many talents and interests. An American philosopher, naturalist, and literary critic, he contributed significantly to the world of letters and science. He lived from 1893 until 1970, and his life and works continue to fascinate people to this day.
In this blog post, we will explore the life and legacy of Joseph Wood Krutch. We will dive into his career, philosophies, and personal life to gain insight into the mind of this remarkable man. So, let’s begin!
Who Was Joseph Wood Krutch?
Joseph Wood Krutch was born on November 25, 1893, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He grew up in a family of six siblings and was known for his curiosity and love of the outdoors.
Krutch was an excellent student, graduating from the University of Tennessee with honors in 1915. He went on to attend Columbia University, where he earned his master’s degree in 1916 and his Ph.D. in 1923.
Krutch’s career was varied and dynamic. He was a professor of English at the University of Virginia and later the Columbia University. He was also a naturalist, spending extensive time in the wilderness and writing books on natural history.
Krutch was also a literary critic and wrote several works examining the literary styles and techniques of various authors, including Samuel Johnson, Henry David Thoreau, and Charles Dickens.
Krutch’s Philosophy and Beliefs
Krutch believed in the importance of the individual and their autonomy. He believed that people must be free to think and act in their own best interests without undue influence from social or cultural norms.
Krutch also believed in the reality of the natural world, stating that nature was a way to connect with our most basic instincts and find meaning in life. He argued that there was a need for people to have a sense of wonder and excitement in life, and that this could be found in exploring the natural world.
Krutch was also a humanist, believing in the potential for people to create meaningful lives and contribute positively to society. He argued that people should look beyond their own interests and strive to make the world a better place.
Exploring Krutch’s Naturalist Side
Krutch’s love of the outdoors and the natural world was a significant part of his life. He was an avid hiker and spent many of his summers exploring the wilderness.
Krutch wrote many books about nature, including “The Modern Temper,” “The Voice of the Desert,” and “The Great Chain of Life.” In these works, he explored the importance of the environment and the relationship between humans and the natural world.
Krutch also spent time studying insects and birds, and his work in this field contributed significantly to scientific knowledge about these species.
Krutch and Literary Criticism
Krutch’s interest in literary criticism was another vital aspect of his career. He wrote several works examining the work of various authors, including “Samuel Johnson,” “The Measure of Man,” and “The Modern Temper.”
Krutch’s literary criticism focused on the importance of language and style in literature. He argued that authors must be mindful of their language and the way they use words to convey meaning. He also believed that literature served an essential role in society, connecting people and helping them understand the world around them.
Personal Life of Krutch
Krutch was a private man and did not often speak about his personal life. He was married to Emmy Lou Packard, a well-known artist and illustrator, and the couple had two children.
In his later years, Krutch suffered from Parkinson’s disease, a condition that affected his ability to walk and write. Despite this, he continued to work and write until his death in 1970.
Q: What were Joseph Wood Krutch’s main interests?
A: Joseph Wood Krutch was primarily interested in natural history, literature, and philosophy.
Q: What was Krutch’s philosophical belief system?
A: Krutch believed in the importance of the individual, the reality of the natural world, and the potential of human beings to create meaningful lives.
Q: What was Krutch’s contribution to natural history?
A: Krutch spent time studying insects and birds, and his work in this field contributed significantly to scientific knowledge about these species.
Q: What were some of Krutch’s most popular works?
A: Krutch wrote several popular works, including “The Modern Temper,” “The Voice of the Desert,” and “The Great Chain of Life.”
Q: What was Krutch’s contribution to literary criticism?
A: Krutch’s literary criticism focused on the importance of language and style in literature and the role of literature in society.
Q: Did Krutch have a family?
A: Krutch was married to Emmy Lou Packard, a well-known artist and illustrator, and had two children.
Q: What was Krutch’s legacy?
A: Krutch’s work in natural history, literature, and philosophy continues to influence scholars and thinkers today.
Joseph Wood Krutch was a fascinating individual who contributed significantly to the world of letters and science. His work in natural history, literature, and philosophy continues to influence scholars and thinkers today.
Krutch’s beliefs in the importance of individual autonomy, the reality of the natural world, and the potential of human beings to create meaningful lives are as relevant today as they were when he first wrote about them.
In conclusion, it is clear that Joseph Wood Krutch was a remarkable man whose legacy will continue to inspire future generations.