David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Inquiry 50 (3):234 – 252 (2007)
Ralph Waldo Emerson famously warned his readers against the dangers of conformity and consistency. In this paper, I argue that this warning informs his engagement with and opposition to a Kantian view of rational agency. The interpretation I provide of some of Emerson's central essays outlines a unique conception of agency, a conception which gives substance to Emerson's exhortations of self-trust. While Kantian in spirit, Emerson's view challenges the requirement that autonomy requires acting from a conception of the law. The key to understanding Emerson's opposition to Kant rests in showing how obeying the law requires spontaneity on the part of the agent herself. Emerson's concerns about conformity and consistency further enrich the view of agency, argued for by Richard Moran, according to which we take responsibility for our minds by taking up a first-person deliberative perspective on our minds. Conformity and consistency in one's thinking and acting permits society and one's own past to dictate when deliberation may come to an end, thereby undermining a crucial sense in which an agent, in taking up the deliberative perspective, has taken responsibility for her mind
|Keywords||Ralph Waldo Emerson Kant American philosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
H. G. Callaway (2008). R.W. Emerson, Society and Solitude, Twelve Chapters. Edwin Mellen Press.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (ed.) (1997). Joel Myerson (Ed) The Selected Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Columbia University Press.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (ed.) (1860). The Conduct of Life. Ticknor and Fields.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1836). Nature. J. Munroe.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1838). Divinity School Address. In Bode And Cowley (ed.), Reprinted in Bode and Cowley, The Portable Emerson.
Charles R. Metzger (1952). Emerson's Religious Conception of Beauty. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 11 (1):67-74.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (ed.) (1995). Emerson's Antislavery Writings. Yale University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads37 ( #51,601 of 1,140,267 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #61,130 of 1,140,267 )
How can I increase my downloads?