Henry David Thoreau: Greatness of Soul and Environmental Virtue

Environmental Philosophy 12 (2):161-184 (2015)

Authors
Andrew J. Corsa
Lynn University
Abstract
I read Henry David Thoreau as an environmental virtue theorist. In this paper, I use Thoreau’s work as a tool to explore the relation between the virtue of greatness of soul and environmental virtues. Reflecting on connections between Thoreau’s texts and historical discussions of greatness of soul, or magnanimity, I offer a novel conception of magnanimity. I argue that (1) to become magnanimous, most individuals need to acquire the environmental virtue of simplicity; and (2) magnanimous individuals must possess the environmental virtue of benevolence in order to achieve their goals.
Keywords greatness of soul  magnanimity  Thoreau  environmental virtue  simplicity  benevolence  philanthropy  Hobbes  Thomas Carew  csikszentmihalyi
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ISBN(s) 1718-0198
DOI 10.5840/envirophil201511326
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