David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
International Journal of Applied Philosophy 12 (2):187-201 (1998)
In “Economy,” Henry Thoreau argues against the common view that it is highly worthwhile for a human being to work hard in order to obtain material possessions. Thoreau’s objections are forceful, wide-ranging, and extraordinarily well written. Yet his readers, like almost everyone else, continue to desire, pursue, or acquire more and more material things as well as more and more money, the primary means to such things. Thoreau knew that this was true of the people of his own time, but he didn’t know why. I think I know what Thoreau didn’t know. What Thoreau didn’t know is why material possessions are effective and alluring embodiments of a human being’s worth as a person. This is a particular kind of worth, which I call reputed worth. In the paper I show why reputed worth is so important to people, how material goods embody it, and, unfortunately, why reputed worth is deeply flawed
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
David Scott (2007). Rewalking Thoreau and Asia: 'Light From the East' for 'a Very Yankee Sort of Oriental'. Philosophy East and West 57 (1):14-39.
Henry David Thoreau (1996). Political Writings. Cambridge University Press.
Alan Fox (2008). Guarding What is Essential: Critiques of Material Culture in Thoreau and Yang Zhu. Philosophy East and West 58 (3):pp. 358-371.
Philip Cafaro (1995). Thoreauvian Patriotism as an Environmental Virtue. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 2 (2):1-7.
Jack Turner (2005). Performing Conscience: Thoreau, Political Action, and the Plea for John Brown. Political Theory 33 (4):448 - 471.
James Harold (2005). Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Value. Journal of Social Philosophy 36 (1):85–105.
Daniel G. Campos (2002). Assessing the Value of Nature: A Transactional Approach. Environmental Ethics 24 (1):57-74.
Jannika Bock (2008). Concord in Massachusetts, Discord in the World: The Writings of Henry Thoreau and John Cage. Lang.
Louis G. Lombardi (1983). Inherent Worth, Respect, and Rights. Environmental Ethics 5 (3):257-270.
Rick Anthony Furtak (2007). Skepticism and Perceptual Faith: Henry David Thoreau and Stanley Cavell on Seeing and Believing. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 43 (3):542 - 561.
Carl J. Dull (2012). Zhuangzi and Thoreau: Wandering, Nature, and Freedom. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 39 (2):222-239.
Aaron Smuts (2013). Five Tests for What Makes a Life Worth Living. Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (4):1-21.
Philip Cafaro (2001). Thoreau, Leopold, and Carson: Toward an Environmental Virtue Ethics. Environmental Ethics 23 (1):3-17.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2011-01-09
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?