From David C. Smith’s The Transcendental Saunterer:
Thoreau’s walking experience reveals not only the tensions in his own life between the pull of nature and the pull of society, it also demonstrates his inability to fully resolve the conflicts he experienced between his desire for solitude and his yearning for meaningful human companionship.
It’s the taken-for-granted normative implication that gets me: why must we assume that conflicts can and should
be resolved? What if the friction between opposing drives is the source of a creative spark in one’s personality? To borrow a Nietzschean metaphor, what if the tension in one’s personality is the tension of the taut bowstring which enables arrows to fly farther? Or what if we prefer the stimulating differences of Isaiah Berlin’s value pluralism
to the entropy of conflict resolution?