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Summary Ralph Waldo Emerson was a nineteenth century American literary philosopher and the chief figure of the New England Renaissance. His work reflects earlier Anglo-American and European traditions of thought and was a significant influence on subsequent developments in American philosophy and American culture generally--where he and his writings are deeply rooted. 
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  1. Brahma.Ralph Waldo Emerson - unknown - In Various (ed.), Emerson Poems.
    This short poem is an Emersonian interpretation of the Hindu concept.
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  2. Geroge J. Stack, Nietzsche and Emerson.F. Cauchi - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  3. Nietzsche Contra Sublimation.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2020 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 58 (4):755-778.
    Many commentators have claimed that Nietzsche views the “sublimation” (Sublimierung) of drives as a positive achievement. Against this tradition, I argue that, on the dominant if not universal Nietzschean use of Sublimierung and its cognates, sublimation is just a broad psychological analogue of the traditional (al)chemical process: the “vaporization” of drives into a finer or lighter state, figuratively if not literally. This can yield ennobling elevation, or purity in a positive sense—the intensified “sublimate” of an unrefined original sample. But it (...)
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  4. Emerson's Speculative Pragmatism.Ridvan Askin - 2019 - In New Directions in Philosophy and Literature. Edinburgh: pp. 234-252.
    With its poetic and highly paratactic style and its reliance on the essay form Emerson’s program, I believe, is best captured with the expression ‘speculative pragmatism’. I will attempt to give this expression some consistency. The trajectory I have chosen for this task is as follows: I will begin with considerations concerning the fundamental relation between metaphysics and aesthetics for Emerson, then move on to the more specific relation between aesthetics and the work of art with literature as its prime (...)
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  5. A Composite Portrait of a True American Philosophy on Magnanimity.Andrew J. Corsa & Eric Schliesser - 2019 - In Sophia Vasalou (ed.), The Measure of Greatness: Philosophers on Magnanimity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 235-265.
    This paper offers a composite portrait of the concept of magnanimity in nineteenth-century America, focusing on Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Henry David Thoreau. A composite portrait, as a method in the history of philosophy, is designed to bring out characteristic features of a group's philosophizing in order to illuminate characteristic features that may still resonate in today's philosophy. Compared to more standard methods in the historiography of philosophy, the construction of a composite portrait de-privileges the views of individual (...)
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  6. Montaigne, Emerson, and the Affirmation of Ordinary Life.Christopher Edelman - 2019 - Montaigne Studies (No. 1-2):55-68.
    This essay argues that Montaigne and Emerson share not only a literary style and a form of skepticism, but also a moral project, namely—to borrow a concept from Charles Taylor—the affirmation of ordinary life. Moreover, Montaigne and Emerson approach this project in fundamentally the same way: rather than offering readers discursive arguments, they attempt to reform readers’ imaginations. Finally, recognizing the poetic nature of their respective affirmations of ordinary life allows us to appreciate how their seemingly dogmatic claims regarding human (...)
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  7. Aesthetic Transcendentalism in Emerson, Peirce, and Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Painting by Nicholas L. Guardiano.Nicholas Aaron Friesner - 2019 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 40 (2):120-123.
    As environmental concerns rightly take a greater role in the critical reevaluation of the American philosophical tradition, it behooves us to return again to the often slippery notion of “nature” to ask if it can be redeemed as not merely the canvas on which human endeavor is depicted but an active element of the diverse and distinct philosophical perspectives that make the tradition. Indeed, there is a great need to depict the potentially subversive ways that human and nature can be (...)
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  8. Emersons Politisches Denken Und Die Dichtung.Ridvan Askin - 2018 - In Michael Festl & Philipp Schweighauser (eds.), Literatur und Politische Philosophie: Subjektivität, Fremdheit, Demokratie. Paderborn, Germany: pp. 101-122.
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  9. "Skeptic is a dancer on the air rope : Emerson, Montaigne et le scepticisme sage".Emiliano Ferrari - 2017 - In Jean-Charles Darmon, Philippe Desan & Gianni Paganini (eds.), Des Morales et des œuvres. Paris: Hermann. pp. 179-199.
    This study aims to highlight some major aspects of Emersonian skepticism while at the same time showing their deep links with the philosophy of Montaigne. In doing so, it does not rely solely on the well-known essay “Montaigne; or, the Skeptic” (1850), but it tries to articulate its content and other works of Emerson, in order to enrich and refine the moral and anthropological meanings of his skeptical attitude.
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  10. How Close a Reader of Emerson Is Stanley Cavell?Urbas Joseph - 2017 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 31 (4):557-574.
    This article examines Stanley Cavell's method of reading Emerson—and finds it wanting in rigor and fidelity to the original. Though Cavell declares himself to be among those who "care about the Emersonian text," who are "concerned to preserve the order of words of the Emersonian text," there is a substantial amount of evidence that this is not always the case. A close reading of Cavell's readings of Emerson reveals a pattern of misconstrual and misquotation whose effect is to strip away (...)
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  11. Emerson's Metaphysics: A Song of Laws and Causes. [REVIEW]Frederic Tremblay - 2017 - The Pluralist 12 (2):120-124.
    This text is a review of Joseph Urbas's Emerson's Metaphysics: A Song of Laws and Causes (Lexington Books, 2016). In this book, Urbas proposes a reconstruction of the metaphysics of the American poet, essayist, and self-defined philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. According to Urbas, Emerson has a coherent metaphysics, the fundamental principle of which is the category of causation. Reacting to David Hume, Emerson would have deliberately emphasized causation, connection, relation, tie, link, and so on. Emerson is thus characterized as a (...)
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  12. Aesthetic Transcendentalism in Emerson, Peirce, and Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Painting.Nicholas Guardiano - 2016 - Lexington Books.
    This book proposes an original philosophy of nature, contributes to our understanding of two of America’s greatest philosophers, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Charles S. Peirce, and examines the philosophical expressions of the art of nineteenth-century American landscape painting.
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  13. Metonymies of Mind: Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, and the Rhetoric of Liberal Education. Meehan - 2016 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 49 (3):277.
    Conventional wisdom concerning the intellectual relation between Ralph Waldo Emerson, America’s first public intellectual, and William James, arguably Emerson’s greatest philosophical progeny, has tended to follow a path of invidious comparison. “Literary critics admit his philosophy and deny his literature,” John Dewey notes in characterizing this tendency in an address delivered during the Emerson centenary celebrations in 1903. “And if philosophers extol his keen, calm art and speak with some depreciation,” he adds, “it also is perhaps because Emerson knew something (...)
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  14. Emerson's Metaphysics: A Song of Laws and Causes.Joseph Urbas - 2016 - Lexington Books.
    This book gives the first complete, fully historicized account of Emerson's metaphysics of cause and effect and its foundational position in his philosophy as a whole. Joseph Urbas proposes an intellectual biography of Emerson the metaphysician but also the life-story of a concept synonymous, in the Transcendentalist period, with life itself—the story of the principle at the origin of all being and change.
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  15. Revolutionary Shattering: Emerson on the Haitian Revolution.B. Arsi - 2015 - Télos 2015 (170):109-130.
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  16. “Altars to the Beautiful Necessity”: The Significance of F. W. J. Schelling’s “Philosophical Inquiries in the Nature of Human Freedom” in the Development of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Concept of Fate. [REVIEW]David Greenham - 2015 - Journal of the History of Ideas 76 (1):115-137.
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  17. Espen Dahl and Stanley Cavell: Religion, and Continental Philosophy: Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 2014, X + 177 Pages, $45. [REVIEW]Martin Shuster - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 77 (2):183-186.
    Although short, Espen Dahl has written a book that truly delivers on its title: it clearly, concisely, and powerfully shows Cavell’s frequent and deep links to and engagements with religion and religious themes and with Continental philosophy. While both of these strands have been explored piecemeal by scholars, Dahl’s innovation consists in the detail with which he can engage these themes and the position he is able to carve out. That position is one that sees Cavell’s thought “as essentially open (...)
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  18. Emerson and the Democratization of Plato's “True Rhetoric”. Thompson - 2015 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 48 (2):117.
    Emerson’s adoration of Plato began early in his life, and it hardly waned as he ages. His habit of regularly reading Platonic dialogues began before he matriculated at Harvard, and in 1822, at the age of nineteen, he concluded that Plato possessed two important characteristics: “intimate familiarity with the profoundest principles of philosophy, and at the same time a power to express them with the most perfect simplicity”. Emerson’s fascination with the connection between ideas and expression in Plato persists long (...)
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  19. Absolute-Brahma: Royce and the Upanishads.Joshua M. Hall - 2014 - Asian Philosophy 24 (2):121-132.
    While acknowledging a certain affinity between his own thought and the Vedanta concept of a world-soul or universal spirit, Josiah Royce nevertheless locates this concept primarily in what he terms the Second Conception of Being—Mysticism. In his early magnum opus, The World and the Individual, Royce utilizes aspects of the Upanishads in order to flesh out his picture of the mystical understanding of and relationship to being. My primary concern in the present investigation is to introduce some nuance into Royce’s (...)
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  20. Self-Reliance and the Portability of Pragmatism. Neville - 2014 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 35 (2):93.
    Flush with the juices of adolescence, American philosophy declared independence from its European parentage in the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson and his generation. In 1837, Emerson addressed the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Society on the occasion of its inaugural meeting for the year, which he called a “holiday.” Emerson began: I greet you on the recommencement of our literary year. Our anniversary is one of hope, and, perhaps, not enough of labor. We do not meet for games of strength (...)
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  21. Emerson’s Hermeneutic of the Text of Moral Nature. Prud'homme - 2014 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 35 (3):229-241.
    In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s groundbreaking essay Nature, he wrote, “The moral law lies at the centre of nature and radiates to the circumference. It is the pith and marrow of every substance, every relation, and every process.”1 This moral quality of nature is embedded in its very core—the stems of plants and the interior of bones—the very places where the transactions that give life take place. And it goes out, like the light of the sun and the stars, to the (...)
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  22. Intuition: The “Unseen Thread” Connecting Emerson and James*: Gregg Crane.Gregg Crane - 2013 - Modern Intellectual History 10 (1):57-86.
    Recent scholarly comment on the relation between Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James offers an either–or choice between conflating the two thinkers in a proto-postmodern, antifoundationalist cast or dividing them into mutually exclusive categories of idealist believer and relativist skeptic. Contending that neither of these positions captures the pragmatist adumbrations in Emerson or the transcendentalist retentions in James, this essay turns to James's annotations of Emerson's writings as a singularly revealing yet largely neglected source of information about the exact nature (...)
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  23. Experience as a Prelude to Disaster: American Philosophy and the Fear of Death.Mathew A. Foust - 2013 - Mortality 18 (1):1-16.
    By focusing on the thought of Classical American philosophers, this article addresses the existential problem of the fear of death. Drawing on the experiences and philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, and Jane Addams as a theoretical framework, a prescriptive claim regarding how to confront human mortality is advanced. It is suggested that embracing the notion of experience as a prelude to the disaster of death can be – despite appearances to the contrary – a useful approach to navigating (...)
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  24. Experience and Experimental Writing: Literary Pragmatism From Emerson to the Jameses.Paul Grimstad - 2013 - Oup Usa.
    The book traces connections between the literary experiments of Emerson, Poe, Melville, and Henry James, and the emergence of classical American pragmatism.
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  25. Fallibility and Insight in Moral Judgment.John Kaag - 2013 - Human Studies 36 (2):259-275.
    This article investigates the relationship between moral judgments, fallibility, and imaginative insight. It will draw heavily from the canon of classical American philosophy, the members of which (from Ralph Waldo Emerson, to C.S. Peirce, E.L. Cabot, to Jane Addams, to John Dewey) took up this relationship as pivotally important in moral theorizing. It argues that the process of hypothesis formation—characterized as “insight” by Emerson and extended by Peirce in his notion of “abduction”—is a necessary condition of moral progress for it (...)
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  26. Bi-Polar" Emerson: "Nominalist and Realist. Urbas - 2013 - The Pluralist 8 (2):78.
    Emerson 's philosophical rehabilitation, begun in the late 1970s, has neglected an important branch of his thought: his metaphysics. Revisionist interpretations have generally followed Stanley Cavell's anti-metaphysical lead, privileging process and pluralism to the exclusion of any ultimate grounding principle. Russell Goodman's work takes Emerson scholarship in a new direction less hostile to metaphysics. His reading of Emerson 's "Nominalist and Realist" attempts to balance the principles of change and permanence, albeit in "unstable" alternation. What Goodman calls instability I call (...)
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  27. The “Lords of Life”: Fractals, Recursivity, and “Experience”.E. Thomas Finan - 2012 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 45 (1):65-88.
    First published in Essays: Second Series in 1844, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Experience” has long been considered an enigmatic touchstone of the Emersonian corpus. This essay seems to point to many difficult—and key—questions as to the aims and implications of Emerson’s literary style, intellectual methods, and philosophical inquiries. Conventionally viewed as evidence of a hinge in Emerson’s intellectual development from youthful innocence to middle-aged experience, this essay has often been understood as an arena for the contestation of Emersonian ideas about self-reliance, (...)
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  28. Emerson's Argument for Self-Reliance as a Significant Factor in a Flourishing Life.Kathleen O'Dwyer - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 2 (1):102-110.
    This essay explores Emerson’s reflections on self-reliance with particular reference to Emerson’s understanding of the concept of self-reliance, his view of ‘conformity’ as the major obstacle to self-reliance, and the moral significance of his thought. The essay is based on the premise that Emerson’s philosophy of self-reliance, self-reference and self-responsibility has a relevance and an application to our contemporary lives which are often conducted through subtle shades of compliance and acquiescence to popular opinion and prevailing fashions of thought and behaviour.
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  29. Awakening to Race: Individualism and Social Consciousness in America.Jack Turner - 2012 - University of Chicago Press.
    Drawing on the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, and James Baldwin, Turner offers an original reconstruction of democratic individualism in American thought.
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  30. American Transcendentalism.Michael Brodrick - 2011 - In James Fieser & Bradley Dowden (eds.), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    American transcendentalism is essentially a kind of practice by which the world of facts and the categories of common sense are temporarily exchanged for the world of ideas and the categories of imagination. The point of this exchange is to make life better by lifting us above the conflicts and struggles that weigh on our souls. As these chains fall away, our souls rise to heightened experiences of freedom and union with the good. Emerson and Thoreau are the two most (...)
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  31. Emerson, Macy, and the Evolution of Participatory Epistemology.Elizabeth E. Meacham - 2011 - Dissertation, Proquest
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  32. From Meritocracy to Aristocracy: Towards a Just Society for the 'Great Man'.Naoko Saito - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 45 (1):95-109.
    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’, (...)
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  33. "The Beautiful Necessity": Emerson and the Stoic Tradition.James Woelfel - 2011 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 32 (2):122 - 138.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson's appropriation of the Stoic tradition occupied a central and enduring place in his worldview, as is abundantly clear from his essays, poems, and journals. Just as clearly, like other modern thinkers and writers influenced by Stoicism as "perennial philosophy," Emerson interpreted what he learned within a historical framework shaped by Christianity, liberalism, and democracy as well as by influences particular to his own thought and his personal experience. In my paper I will briefly review the main ideas (...)
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  34. The Other Emerson.Branka Arsic & Cary Wolfe (eds.) - 2010 - Univ of Minnesota Press.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the most significant figures in nineteenth-century American literature and culture-indeed, this collection argues, in the history of philosophy. The Other Emerson is a thorough reassessment of the philosophical underpinnings, theoretical innovations, and ethical and political implications of the prose writings of one of America's most enduring thinkers. Considering Emerson first and foremost as a daring and original thinker, _The Other Emerson_ focuses on three Emersonian subjects-subjectivity, the political, and the nature of philosophy-and range in (...)
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  35. Memories and Portraits, Explorations in American Thought.H. G. Callaway - 2010 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
    In Memories and Portraits: Explorations in American Thought, H. G. Callaway embeds his distinctive contextualism and philosophical pluralism within strands of history and autobiography, spanning three continents. Starting in Philadelphia, and reflecting on the meaning of home in American thought, he offers a philosophically inspired narrative of travel and explorations, in Europe and Africa, illuminating central elements of American thought—partly out of diverse foreign and domestic reactions and fascinating cultural contrasts. -/- This book is of interest for the contemporary interplay (...)
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  36. Classical Liberalism and American Landscape Representation: The Imperial Self in Nature.Frank M. Coleman - 2010 - Ethics, Place and Environment 13 (1):75 – 96.
    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 (...)
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  37. The Metempsychotic Mind: Emerson and Consciousness.John Michael Corrigan - 2010 - Journal of the History of Ideas 71 (3):433-455.
    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.
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  38. Elective Metaphysical Affinities: Emerson’s “Natural History of Intellect” and Peirce’s Synechism: Afinidades Metafísicas Eletivas: A “História Natural Do Intelecto” de Emerson E o Sinequismo de Peirce.David Dilworth - 2010 - Cognitio 11 (1).
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  39. Philosophy and Personal Loss.Susan Dunston - 2010 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 24 (2):158-170.
    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 (...)
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  40. Selected Journals, 1820-1842.Ralph Waldo Emerson (ed.) - 2010 - Library of America.
    Selections from Emerson's copious journals, 1820-1842.
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  41. Pragmatism, Trascendentalism, and Perfectionism.Roberto Frega, Donatelli Piergiorgio & Laugier Sandra - 2010 - European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 2 (2).
    Introduction to the symposia on Pragmatism and Perfectionism appered on the European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, vol. 2 issue 2, 2010.
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  42. The Other Emerson.Russell B. Goodman, Eduardo Cadava, Donald E. Pease, Eric Keenaghan & Sandra Laugier - 2010 - Univ of Minnesota Press.
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  43. Emerson, L’Éducation Et la Démocratie.Sandra Laugier - 2010 - Etica E Politica 12 (1):157-180.
    The paper aims to present and defend Cavell’s reading of moral perfectionism as an alternative political approach. For several decades, Stanley Cavell has been working to make Emerson’s voice reheard in the core of American philosophy. This activity, though, is not simply historical rehabilitation. What appears very clearly in, e.g., his 2003 collection Emerson’s Transcendental Etudes, but as early as in the 1990 work Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome, is that Cavell also wants to make heard the present-day political pertinence of (...)
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  44. Emerson, Nietzsche e la gioia dell 'influenza'.Luca Lupo - 2010 - Filosofia Oggi 33 (129):69-78.
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  45. Emerson and Thoreau: Figures of Friendship.John T. Lysaker & William Rossi (eds.) - 2010 - Indiana University Press.
    This lively volume explores the theme of friendship in the lives and works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
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  46. Cavell’s “Moral Perfectionism” or Emerson’s “Moral Sentiment”?Joseph Urbas - 2010 - European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 2 (2):41-53.
    What is properly Emersonian about moral perfectionism? Perhaps the best answer is: not much. Stanley Cavell's signature concept, which claims close kinship to Emerson's ethical philosophy, seems upon careful examination to be rather far removed from it. Once we get past the broad, unproblematic appeals to Emerson's “unattained but attainable self,” and consider the specific content and implications of perfectionism, the differences between the two thinkers become too substantive – and too fraught with serious misunderstandings – to be ignored. It (...)
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  47. Review of D.W. Howe, What Hath God Wrought. [REVIEW]H. G. Callaway - 2009 - History News Network, Online 2009.
    This is my review of D.W. Howe's 2007 book, What Hath God Wrought, Transformation of America 1815-1848. The book is a volume in the new Oxford History of the U.S.(O.U.P. 2007)--exploring the transformation of the early American republic through the period of domination of the Jacksonian Democrats. This is also the period of the New England Renaissance and the early work of R.W. Emerson. Howe devotes a good deal of attention to Emerson and his influence and thereby provides needed historical (...)
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  48. Emerson's Ladder of Ascent: Modernity and the Platonic Tradition.John Michael Corrigan - 2009 - Dionysius 27.
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  49. “Not Like Any Form of Activity” Waiting in Emerson, Melville, and Weil.Clark Davis - 2009 - Common Knowledge 15 (1):39-58.
    In his meditation on Emerson's self-reliance, George Kateb argues that Emerson's entrance into antislavery politics, particularly his calls for collective mobilization, constitutes a “deviation from his theory of self-reliance, not its transformation.” Though Emerson often imagines a self-reliance that can lead to action, his descriptions of the fundamental attitude of the self towards the world suggest passivity, attention, and waiting. Because he rules out logical or teleological sources for inspiration, his conception of self-reliance is fundamentally at odds with progressivist narratives (...)
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  50. Elective Affinities: Emerson’s “Poetry and Imagination” as Anticipation of Peirce’s Buddhisto-Christian Metaphysics: Afinidades Eletivas: “Poetry and Imagination” de Emerson Como Antecipação À Metafísica Budista-Cristã de Peirce.David Dilworth - 2009 - Cognitio 10 (1).
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