Possessiveness and Embodiment

Abstract
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 Applied Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0739-098X
DOI 10.5840/ijap199812216
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 25,032
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Political Writings.Henry David Thoreau - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Thoreauvian Patriotism as an Environmental Virtue.Philip Cafaro - 1995 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 2 (2):1-7.
Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Value.James Harold - 2005 - Journal of Social Philosophy 36 (1):85–105.
Inherent Worth, Respect, and Rights.Louis G. Lombardi - 1983 - Environmental Ethics 5 (3):257-270.
Zhuangzi and Thoreau: Wandering, Nature, and Freedom.Carl J. Dull - 2012 - Journal of Chinese Philosophy 39 (2):222-239.
Five Tests for What Makes a Life Worth Living.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (4):1-21.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-01-09

Total downloads

10 ( #413,275 of 2,083,274 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #396,083 of 2,083,274 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums