This article applies formal modeling to study a terrorist group''s choice of whether to attack or not, and, in the case of an attack, which of two potential targets to strike. Each potential target individually takes protective measures that influence the terrorists'' perceived success and failure, and, hence, the likelihood of attack. For domestic terrorism, a tendency for potential targets to overdeter is indicated. For transnational terrorism, cases of overdeterrence and underdeterrence are identified. We demonstrate that increased information about terrorists'' (...) preferences, acquired by the targets, may exacerbate inefficiency when deterrence efforts are not coordinated. In some cases, perfect information may eliminate the existence of a noncooperative solution. (shrink)
An American essayist, poet, and popular philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) began his career as a Unitarian minister in Boston, but achieved worldwide fame as a lecturer and the author of such essays as “Self-Reliance,” “History,” “The Over-Soul,” and “Fate.” Drawing on English and German Romanticism, Neoplatonism, Kantianism, and Hinduism, Emerson developed a metaphysics of process, an epistemology of moods, and an “existentialist” ethics of self-improvement. He influenced generations of Americans, from his friend Henry David Thoreau to John Dewey, (...) and in Europe, Friedrich Nietzsche, who takes up such Emersonian themes as power, fate, the uses of poetry and history, and the critique of Christianity. (shrink)
This is an important book historically, documenting the long friendship and correspondence of Emerson and Carlyle. It should be noted that there is a more up-to-date edition, done in the 20th century (edited by Joseph Slater, Columbia U.P. 1964). Many of the common themes and interests of the two thinkers are indicated in the correspondence, and often enough, one can also see evidence of the differences and how they approached them.
In his lifetime, Ralph Waldo Emerson became the most widely known man of letters in America, establishing himself as a prolific poet, essayist, popular lecturer, and an advocate of social reforms who was nevertheless suspicious of reform and reformers. Emerson achieved some reputation with his verse, corresponded with many of the leading intellectual and artistic figures of his day, and during an off and on again career as a Unitarian minister, delivered and later published a number of controversial sermons. (...) Emerson’s enduring reputation, however, is as a philosopher, an aphoristic writer (like Friedrich Nietzsche) and a quintessentially American thinker whose championing of the American Transcendental movement and influence on Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, William James, and others would alone secure him a prominent place in American cultural history. (shrink)
This new edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Society and Solitude reproduces the original 1870 edition—only updating nineteenth-century prose spellings. Emerson’s text is fully annotated to identify the authors and issues of concern in the twelve essays, and definitions are provided for selected words in Emerson’s impressive vocabulary. The work aims to facilitate a better understanding of Emerson’s late philosophy in relation to his sources, his development and his subsequent influence.
This new edition of William James’s 1909 classic, A Pluralistic Universe reproduces the original text, only modernizing the spelling. The books has been annotated throughout to clarify James’s points of reference and discussion. There is a new, fuller index, a brief chronology of James’s life, and a new bibliography—chiefly based on James’s own references. The editor, H.G. Callaway, has included a new Introduction which elucidates the legacy of Jamesian pluralism to survey some related questions of contemporary American society. -/- A (...) Pluralistic Universe was the last major book James published during his life time. It is a substantial philosophical work, devoted to a thorough-going criticism of Hegelian monism and Absolutism—and the exploration of philosophical and social-theological alternatives. Our world of some one hundred years on is much the better for James’s contributions; and understanding James’s pluralism deeply contributes even now to America’s self-understanding. At present, we are more certain that American is, and is best, a pluralistic society, than we are of what particular forms our pluralism should take. Keeping an eye out for social interpretations of Jamesian pluralism, this new philosophical reading casts light on our twenty-first century alternatives by reference to prior American experience and developments. -/- . (shrink)
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. (shrink)
We find before us an excellent edition of the book which the influential American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson (1802-82) published in December of 1860, four months before the outbreak of the American Civil War. The central question which Emerson poses in this volume concerns the conduct of life, that is, of how to live. The titles of the nine essays, which compose the book, illustrate the themes tackled: “Fate,” “Power,” “Wealth”, “Culture,” “Behavior,” “Worship”, “Considerations by the Way,” “Beauty” and (...) “Illusions.” As Callaway suggests, Emerson’s is not a philosophy in the sense of contemporary technicalities, “the basic tendency of his thought is a metaphysical idealism in which the soul and intuition or inspiration are central.” (p. xvi). As an essentially religious thinker, profoundly preoccupied with the human soul and with the development of human potentialities, he has always firmly opposed to slavery: one cannot refuse to others human beings the development of their distinctively human potentialities (p. xxvii). (shrink)
This article argues that Ralph Waldo Emerson employs metempsychosis (reincarnation or the transmigration of the soul into successive bodies) as a figurative template for human consciousness. Mapping various traditions from Hinduism, Pythagoreanism, Platonism, and Neoplatonism onto the vastness of the geological and biological records, Emerson translates metaphysics for modernity: he depicts the soul's journey through the chronological sequence of history as a poetic process that culminates in a tenuous form of self-knowledge.
Alongside Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam and Jacques Derrida, Stanley Cavell is arguably one of the best-known philosophers in the world. In this state-of-the-art collection, Alice Crary explores the work of this original and interesting figure who has already been the subject of a number of books, conferences and Phd theses. A philosopher whose work encompasses a broad range of interests, such as Wittgenstein, scepticism in philosophy, the philosophy of art and film, Shakespeare, and philosophy of mind and language, Cavell has (...) also written much about Henry Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Including contributions from Hilary Putnam, Cora Diamond, Jim Conant and Stephen Mulhall, this book is a must-have for libraries and students alike. (shrink)
Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other important transcendentalists were Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Amos Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, and Theodore Parker. Stimulated by English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Herder and Schleiermacher, and the skepticism of Hume, the transcendentalists operated with the sense that a new era was at hand. They were critics of their contemporary society for its unthinking conformity, and (...) urged that each individual find, in Emerson's words, “an original relation to the universe” (O, 3). Emerson and Thoreau sought this relation in solitude amidst nature, and in their writing. By the 1840s they, along with other transcendentalists, were engaged in the social experiments of Brook Farm, Fruitlands, and Walden; and, by the 1850's in an increasingly urgent critique of American slavery. (shrink)
This work is Emerson's set of essays published in 1860 just before the start of the Civil War: 'Fate,' 'Power,' 'Wealth,' 'Culture,' 'Behavior,' 'Worship,' 'Considerations by the Way,' 'Beauty,' 'Illusions.'.
This book includes Emerson's re-written version of his early book, Nature, along with various essays, including: The American Scholar (1836), The Divinity School Address (1838), Literary Ethics (1838), The Method of Nature (1841), Man the Reformer (1841), Lecture on the Times (1841), The Conservative (1841), The Transcendentalist (1842), The Young American (1844).
Gold and iron are good To buy iron and gold; All earth’s fleece and food For their like are sold. Boded Merlin wise, Proved Napoleon great, Nor kind nor coinage buys Aught above its rate. Fear, Craft, and Avarice Cannot rear a State. Out of dust to build What is more than dust, Walls Amphion piled Phoebus stablish must. When the Muses nine With the Virtues meet, Find to their design An Atlantic seat, By green orchard boughs Fended from the (...) heat, Where the statesman ploughs Furrow for the wheat; When the Church is social worth, When the state house is the hearth, Then the perfect State is come, The republican at home. (shrink)
The two parties which divide the state, the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made. This quarrel is the subject of civil history. The conservative party established the reverend hierarchies and monarchies of the most ancient world. The battle of patrician and plebeian, of parent state and colony, of old usage and accommodation to new facts, of the rich and the poor, reappears in all (...) countries and times. The war rages not only in battle-fields, in national councils, and ecclesiastical synods, but agitates every man's bosom with opposing advantages every hour. On rolls the old world meantime, and now one, now the other gets the day, and still the fight renews itself as if for the first time, under new names and hot personalities. Such an irreconcilable antagonism, of course, must have a correspondent depth of seat in the human constitution. It is the opposition of Past and Future, of Memory and Hope, of the Understanding and the Reason. It is the primal antagonism, the appearance in trifles of the two poles of nature. (shrink)
The American Scholar An Address, Man the Reformer, Self-Reliance, Compensation, Friendship, Heroism, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet, Character, Manners, Essays: Gifts, Nature, Politics, New England Reformers Worship, Beauty -/- English Traits -/- (Harvard Classics, Vol. V.).
Of the many nineteenth-century writers who have come to be known collectively as the American Renaissance, none, writes David Van Leer, 'aspired so relentlessly to the mantle of philosopher as did Ralph Waldo Emerson'. In this, the first book to treat Emerson as a serious philosopher, Dr Van Leer explores Emerson's interest in the subject, while remaining sensitive to the unfolding of Emerson's own complex career. He argues that Emerson's essays can be read quite seriously in terms of their (...) philosophical content; and that in fact such philosophical readings show the individual works to be far more carefully structured than has usually been assumed. (shrink)
This timely anthology contains five pieces of republished poetry (and one original poem) and eleven essays of varying length taking mostly contemporary stances on—and thus hoping to spur the on-going reception into the twenty-first century of—the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson. The assortment of the texts is heterogeneous, yet showing a slight philosophical emphasis: among the eleven essays, half a dozen are by authors trained in philosophy, a couple by literary scholars, and another couple by poets. The prose pieces (...) are previously unpublished, excluding the classical essays by Robert C. Pollock (published originally in 1958) and John J. McDermott (1980), as well as John Lysaker's thought-provoking meditation "Taking .. (shrink)
Ralph Waldo Emerson reputedly said, "If you build a better mouse trap, the world will beat a path to your door." In this article, Emerson's actual quote is seen to infer a simple rule: quality supply attracts quantity demand. Such a rule could imply that enitre businesses related to persuasion, such as public relations, advertising, and marketing seem at best unnecessary and at worst unethical. However, Emerson's logic may not apply in modern market places driven by multiple competing images. (...) This article proposes eithical thresholds for persuasion and examines the relationship of these thresholds to public relations theory. Two case studies are analyzed in which better-mousetrap logic is applied to test the viability of these thresholds. (shrink)
My new edition of Emerson's Conduct, modernizes the prose spelling, annotates the text and adds a short chronology, a bibliography foused on Emerson's sources, a new Introduction, and a comprehensive index. Available in HB and PB.
All students of Nietzsche know of his profound admiration for Emerson’s writing. However, as Stanley Cavell has observed, this knowledge has mostly been repressed or ineffective; which is to say that the extent, depth, and specificity of Emerson’s influence upon Nietzsche has remained largely unacknowledged and unassessed. In the course of the past decade or so, owing in large part to the influence of Cavell’s own work on Emerson (and Nietzsche), this situation has begun to change. Emerson’s work has increasingly (...) been taken up philosophically, and students of both Emerson and of Nietzsche have begun to explore systematically the relations between them. While the present study devotes considerably more attention to Nietzsche than to Emerson, it constitutes a provocative and important contribution to this work and enriches our understanding of each of these thinkers. (shrink)
This paper examines Santayana on imagination, and related themes, chiefly as these are expressed in his early work, Interpretations of Poetry and Religion (1900). My hypothesis is that Santayana under-estimates, in this book, the force and significance of the prevalent distinction between imagination and fancy, as this was originally put forward by Coleridge and later developed in Emerson’s late essays. I will focus on some of those aspects of Santayana’s book which appear to react to or to engage with Emerson’s (...) views and aim to bring Santayana’s treatment of the theme of imagination into relation with Emerson. Understanding the differences in greater detail we stand a better chance of reasoned evaluation of alternative conceptions of imagination. I will argue that the Coleridge-Emersonian conception of the distinction between imagination and fancy is a crucial element of the background of Peircean abduction, and in this fashion, contributes to the continuity of Emerson’s writings with the pragmatist tradition. (shrink)
Including the substantial Introduction by Richard Eldridge, this volume consists of nine previously unpublished essays each of which focuses upon a single region of Cavell’s work. While the scope of the issues considered in the volume can be only incompletely indicated by listing the regions addressed, they include: ethics, philosophy of action, the normativity of language, aesthetics and modernism, American philosophy, Shakespeare, film, television, and opera, and the relation of Cavell’s work to German philosophy and Romanticism. The volume also contains (...) a useful index, and a brief annotated bibliography of works by and about Cavell. (shrink)
: Beginning with Emerson's turn from his pulpit, many argue that American philosophy has rigorously held forth against supernaturalism and metaphysics. While most read self-reliance as a call for individualism, I argue that self-reliance is the application of the moral sentiment to the source of existence Emerson calls the Over-soul. Figures like George Kateb, Stanley Cavell, and Jeffrey Stout have presented a very different picture of American pragmatism. Stout, in particular, is responsible for building up what I call "the myth (...) of the Emersonian democrat." We find that a few philosophical positions generally constitute this myth. The Emersonian democrat is secular, sceptical, relativist, anti-realist, and anti-metaphysical. In fact, on my reading of the strand of pragmatism running from Emerson through James to Dewey, the pluralism of the Emersonian democrat depends on certain metaphysical commitments. The traditional reading of Emerson as anti-religion, and by extension, anti-religious, impedes a better understanding of self-reliance and obfuscates some of the Emersonian inheritances in James and Dewey. (shrink)
One criticism of pragmatism, forcefully articulated by Stanley Cavell, is that pragmatism fails to deal with mourning, understood in the psychoanalytic sense as grief-work (Trauerarbeit). Such work would seemingly be as pertinent to philosophical investigations (especially ones conducted by pragmatists) as to psychoanalytic explorations. Finding such themes as mourning and loss in R. W. Emerson's writings, Cavell warns against assimilating Emerson's voice to that of American pragmatism, especially Dewey's instrumentalism, for such assimilation risks the loss or repression of Emerson's voice (...) in not only professional philosophy but also American culture. While granting Emerson's distinctive voice, this essay argues that the way Cavell insists on differences problematically represses recognition of the Emersonian strains in Dewey's own philosophical voice. In doing so, Cavell falsely flattens the resounding depth of Dewey's philosophical voice and narrows the expansive range of pragmatic intelligence. But Dewey all too often lends himself to such a misreading, for his writings at once repress and embody the strains of a distinctively Emersonian voice. (shrink)
Reading a book for a review is not the same as reading for pleasure or research. The voice of the ‘critic’—or the critic one would like to be—muffles the voice of the text. Reviewing a book on reading, written by a writer, is as disconcerting as speaking with an old high school English teacher. I take courage from Emerson. In “The Poet,” an essay to which Richard Deming often returns, Emerson offers: Doubt not, O poet, but persist. Say, “It is (...) in me, and shall out.” Stand there, baulked and dumb, stuttering and stammering, hissed and hooted, stand and strive, until, at last, rage draw out of thee that dream-power which every night shows thee is thine own; a power... (shrink)
This well-organized editorial material is useful especially for students and general educated readers coming to study these works for the first time, but also for the specialist who wants to check details or keep up with central literature. The editor's notes offer historical contextualization, terminological and etymological clarifications, and information on both the well-known and the relatively unknown authors cited by Emerson.... Callaway has modernized the spelling of the prose, but otherwise the editions follow the originals. ".
In these three lectures, Cavell situates Emerson at an intersection of three crossroads: a place where both philosophy and literature pass; where the two traditions of English and German philosophy shun one another; where the cultures of America and Europe unsettle one another.
In the last few years H.G. Callaway has produced several helpful editions of some important texts by Emerson. Emerson's Conduct of Life was originally published in 1860, and it has appeared in a number of editions since then, but Callaway's edition has several noteworthy features that cause it to stand out from the crowd and make it an important contribution to Emerson studies. This is a rare volume that will serve students, academic philosophers, and causal readers alike: a critical edition (...) of a less-familiar text that is attractive to ordinary readers without sacrificing scholarly rigor. (shrink)
Amid its romantic excesses such as "[t]o believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart, is true for all men,—that is genius" (Porte 2001, 121), Emersonian individualism remains a living project, one we would do well to understand more thoroughly and pursue more rigorously. To aid in this recovery, I will, in a translating repetition of Emerson's thought that engages a range of texts, offer eight theses that any successful reconstruction of individualism (...) must embrace. (shrink)
Louis Agassiz.--Address at the Emerson Centenary in Concord.--Robert Gould Shaw.--Francis Boott.--Thomas Davidson: a knight-errant of the intellectual life.--Herbert Spencer's autobiography.--Frederick Myers' services to psychology.--Final impressions of a psychical researcher.--On some mental effects of the earthquake.--The energies of men.--The moral equivalent of war.--Remarks at the peace banquet.--The social value of the college-bred.--The university and the individual: The Ph.D. octopus. The true Harvard. Stanford's ideal destiny.--A pluralistic mystic.
Howard Callaway's new edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Society and Solitude is an invaluable contribution to both the primary and secondary literature on Emerson. Its contribution to the primary sources is its use of the original 1870 edition of Emerson's text, though with modernized spellings to facilitate the reader's understanding. Its contribution to the secondary literature consists in the scholarly apparatus of page-by-page annotations, an introduction, a chronology, a bibliography, and an index. Callaway's Society and Solitude is a worthy (...) companion to his earlier edition of Emerson's The Conduct of Life. (shrink)
In the practice of education and educational reforms today ‘meritocracy’ is a prevalent mode of thinking and discourse. Behind political and economic debates over the just distribution of education benefits, other kinds of philosophical issues, concerning the question of democracy, await to be addressed. As a means of evoking a language more subtle than what is offered by political and economic solutions, I shall discuss Ralph Waldo Emerson's idea of perfectionism, particularly his ideas of the ‘gleam of light’ and (...) ‘genius’, as an alternative mode of thinking of human power. Through this Emersonian lens, a provocative shift will be made from meritocracy and ‘mediocracy’ to aristocracy. Emersonian aristocracy destabilizes balanced measures and prevailing discourse about fairness and justice, and makes us reconsider how to achieve a just society in democracy. As an educational implication, I shall propose the idea of citizenship without inclusion—a vision of education for a democratic society in which we learn to live as and with the Great Man. (shrink)
Pragmatism -- From The meaning of truth -- From Psychology, briefer course -- From The will to believe and other essays in popular philosophy -- From Talks to teachers on psychology, and to students on some of life's ideals -- Address at the centenary of Ralph Waldo Emerson -- A world of pure experience -- Is radical empiricism solipsistic?
Ranging from Joseph Bellamy to Hilary Putnam, and from early New England Divinity Schools to contemporary university philosophy departments, historian Bruce Kuklick recounts the story of the growth of philosophical thinking in the United States. Readers will explore the thought of early American philosphers such as Jonathan Edwards and John Witherspoon and will see how the political ideas of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson influenced philosophy in colonial America. Kuklick discusses The Transcendental Club (members Henry David Thoreau, Ralph (...)Waldo Emerson) and describes the rise of pragmatism centered on Metaphysical Club of Cambridge (and members William James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Charles Peirce). He examines the profound impact Darwinism had on American philosophy and looks at Idealists such as the Kantian Josiah Royce and the Hegelian John Dewey. The book shows how, in the twentieth century, the Nazi conquest of Europe unleashed a flood of European intellectuals onto these shores, including such major thinkers as Theodore Adorno, Erich Fromm, Rudolph Carnap, and Alfred Tarski. Finally, Kuklick examines the contributions of such contemporary philosophers as Sidney Hook and Willard Quine and such books as John Rawl's A Theory of Justice and Herbert Marcuse's One Dimensional Man. Kuklick pulls no punches in portraying the state of American philosophy today and its contested role in the intellectual life of the nation and the world. The range of philosophical thought in our nation's history has been great, from Edwards's Religious Affections to Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Bruce Kuklick has captured it all in a book that blends intricate details with sweeping vision. (shrink)
Here it is shown that 'vacant nature' is deployed as sign in Anglo-American landscape representation of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries to support a Cartesian imaginary of spatial extension. The referent of this imaginary is variously denoted as 'America' (John Locke), the 'north west' (Jefferson), the 'wilderness' (Ralph Waldo Emerson), and the 'frontier' (Frederick Jackson Turner) but throughout it is essentially the same 'vacant' landscape; its function is to produce a site and space of appearance for an imperial self, (...) an isolate pursuing self-extension through commodity production and consumption. This spatial representation—the predecessor of the abstract space of shopping malls, interstates, commercial advertising, global markets, office buildings, and suburbs—is contrasted with 'place,' a space shaped by topography, collective memory, and ecological constraint. (shrink)
Russell Goodman examines the curious reemergence of pragmatism in a field dominated in the past decades by phenomenology, logic, positivism, and deconstruction. With contributions from major contemporary and classical thinkers such as Cornel West, Richard Rorty, Nancy Fraser, Charles Sanders Peirce, and Ralph Waldo Emerson Russell has gathered an impressive chorus of philosophical voices that reexamine the origins and complexities of neo-pragmatism. The contributors discuss the relationship between pragmatism and literary theory, phenomenology, existentialism, and the work of Ralph (...) class='Hi'>Waldo Emerson. They question the meaning of pragmatics, what it is to be practical, and ask provocative questions such as: what is reading? and whether or not democracy is a precondition for the functioning of intelligence. This work places this reemergent and interesting neo-development in its proper context and will provide readers with a strong sense of the movement's foundations, history, and subtlities. (shrink)
Kant’s approach to the nature of artworks suggests that art has a metaphysical dimension that accounts for the two major elements of aesthetic experience. Aesthetic judgements are occasioned by experiences of pleasure and have an objective aspect since they are experiences with which other persons are expected to agree. More recently, Arthur Danto has argued that an artwork must be situated in an artworld. Pragmatists see aesthetic experience instead as integral to experience and requiring no special explanation other than association (...) with consumatory moments of experience. I want to argue that the pragmatist approach is basically correct, that contra Danto and Kant, aesthetic experience has no special implications for metaphysics. I locate this notion of aesthetic experience in the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson and offer speculations about the cultural relativity of concepts of aesthetic beauty. (shrink)
The test of civilization is the power of drawing the most benefit out of cities." Ralph Waldo Emerson What is the role of the urban experience in the construction of American democratic ideals? By looking at the disparate visions of a just society advanced by Jefferson and Hamilton, this paper will attempt to provide an account of the historical role of the urban experience in the construction of the American vision of democracy. Then, through the works of John Dewey (...) and Lewis Mumford (and Robert Westbrook's account of their continuing disagreements), the essay will address some of the issues stemming from the role of urban experience in the processes of moral development. Then, through the work of Whitman, it will be argued that the urban experience is a necessary condition for the adequate development of democratic ideals. The essay will conclude with a brief analysis of some of the important elements of the urban experience, and their respective contributions to the construction of democratic values. (shrink)
Aristotle famously argues that friendship can serve as a normative model for the practice of citizenship, and this view has been widely accepted by neo-Aristotelians. Liberals, however, are quick to reject both Aristotle's view of friendship and his view of citizenship. Does this mean that the concept of friendship is politically irrelevant for liberalism? This essay suggests, on the contrary, that the concept of friendship is far from obsolete, even for liberals. Specifically, communicative constraints derived from the norms of friendship, (...) as interpreted by Ralph Waldo Emerson, could serve to promote the modest instrumental purposes of liberal citizenship-personal freedom, social justice, and civil peace-while simultaneously allowing the practice of liberal citizenship to develop in noninstrumental directions, enriched rather than strained by the multicultural realities of most modern societies. (shrink)
Two years after the death of his small son, Ralph Waldo Emerson famously wrote of the experience, "I cannot get it nearer to me" (CW 3:29). Most readers have been troubled by this remark, reading it as a sign that Emerson's relationship to grief and even to his son was disturbingly oblique, and the predominant response has been that it demonstrates he was detached, cold, and disconnected in the service of his transcendental philosophy.1 Such a response is grounded in (...) the tacit assumption that philosophy seems to be, or to call for, some intellectually grounded transcendence of the personal, whether the personal is whimsical or fatal. Emerson himself worried at times that he was too cold, too intellectual, even as .. (shrink)
Wilderness, for seventeenth-century Puritan colonists in America, was hideous and howling. In the eighteenth century, Puritan preacher and theologian, Jonathan Edwards, began the process of transforming the American wilderness into an aesthetic and spiritual resource, a process completed in the nineteenth century by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Henry David. Thoreau was the first American to recommend wilderness preservation for purposes of transcendental recreation (solitude, and aesthetic and spiritual experience). In the twentieth century, Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold advocated wilderness preservation (...) for a different kind of recreation (hunting, fishing, and primitive travel) in order to preserve the putatively unique American character and institutions. Of these three historic conceptions of wilderness preservation, the third is the best model for frontier ecosystems at the austral tip of the Americas. (shrink)