Chapter

Emerson: Perfectionism, Idiosyncrasy, Justice

Stephen Mulhall

in Stanley Cavell

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238508
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679643 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198238508.003.0014
Emerson: Perfectionism, Idiosyncrasy, Justice

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This chapter examines Cavell's views on Emerson, seeing him as the founder of the mode of thinking which Thoreau exemplifies. Cavell identifies Emerson as proposing a practice of philosophical reading as a means of overcoming sceptical despair — an essentially Romantic practice in which recounting criteria forms the central part of a more general attempt to allow oneself to be read by words and the world, and thereby restore their life in all its relative autonomy.

Keywords: Cavell; Emerson; scepticism; philosophical reading; Thoreau

Chapter.  9035 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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