Emerson and Self-Culture

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Indiana University Press, 2008 M03 10 - 248 pages

How do I live a good life, one that is deeply personal and sensitive to others? John T. Lysaker suggests that those who take this question seriously need to reexamine the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson. In philosophical reflections on topics such as genius, divinity, friendship, and reform, Lysaker explores "self-culture" or the attempt to remain true to one's deepest commitments. He argues that being true to ourselves requires recognition of our thoroughly dependent and relational nature. Lysaker guides readers from simple self-absorption toward a more fulfilling and responsive engagement with the world.

 

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Contents

Taking Emerson Personally
1
The Genius of Nature
26
Reflecting Eloquence
52
Divining Becoming
81
On the Edges of Our Souls
119
Commended Strangers Beautiful Enemies
141
Tending to Reform
168
Epilogue
195
Notes
199
Bibliography
213
Index
219
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

John T. Lysaker is Associate Professor and Head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Oregon. He is author of You Must Change Your Life: Poetry, Philosophy, and the Birth of Sense.

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