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Emerson and Other Minds

Idealism and the Lonely Subject

Michael J. Colacurcio (author)

ISBN: 9781481311793

Publication Date: Jan 2021

Format: Paperback

Traces the long arc of Ralph Waldo Emerson's writings. While Emerson's seldom argues academically in his essays, he intends the essays to be primary acts of philosophy. The essays are also highly wrought literary performances, and so they need to be closely read in the New Critical manner.
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In Emerson and Other Minds, Michael J. Colacurcio traces the long arc of Ralph Waldo Emerson's writings. While Emerson's seldom argues academically in his essays, he intends the essays to be primary acts of philosophy. The essays are also highly wrought literary performances, and so they need to be closely read in the New Critical manner.

Colacurcio proposes that Emerson is one of modernity's central writers on the question of "privacy": the unsettling epistemological fact that even though people have the ability to share through language the experiences that shape their version of the world, no one else can fully experience another's process of creating and evaluating the world. Emerson may imagine a transparent eyeball, but never a universal retina. This ineluctable privacy underwrites the famous moral doctrine of "self-reliance," but it also helps to explain the painful problems of love and friendship.

Colacurcio's close reading results in a two-volume compilation that reminds us of the importance of encountering and remembering Emerson for more than his famous sentences. Conversing with himself and other powerful minds on fundamental questions of human knowledge and behavior, Emerson produced brilliant essays - both philosophical and literary in the fullest sense - that are certainly worth reading closely and with new eyes.
Pages 590
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Jan 2021
Publisher Baylor University Press
Subject/s Philosophy   Philosophy of religion   Literary studies: general   Literary companions  
  • Prologue
  • Emerson and Philosophy
  • Part 1. Emerson before Nature
  • 1 "My Time, My Talents, and My Hopes"
  • Private Writing and the Eloquent Self
  • 2 Man's Moral Nature
  • The Religious Subject and the Ethical Sublime
  • 3 "Another's Wealth"
  • The Self in Significant Relation
  • 4 The Great Secularity of the World
  • Religion and Science as History
  • 5 Persons and Letters
  • Emerson and the Science of the Human
  • Part 2. Paradigms of Thought and Action
  • 6 Noble Doubts
  • Experience, Subjectivity, Theism
  • 7 Pleasing God
  • Law Without Authority
  • 8 "They Also Serve"
  • Emerson and the Talking Cure
Michael J. Colacurcio is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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