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Self-Reliance is an essay written by American Transcendentalist philosopher and essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson. It contains the most thorough statement of one of Emerson\'s repeating themes, the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow his or her own instincts and ideas. It is the source of one of Emerson\'s most famous quotes, A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.