Emerson and the Conduct of Life: Pragmatism and Ethical Purpose in the Later Work

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 12, 2009 - Literary Collections - 232 pages
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In Emerson and the Conduct of Life, David M. Robinson describes Ralph Waldo Emerson's evolution from mystic to pragmatist, stressing the importance of Emerson's undervalued later writing. Emerson's reputation has rested on the addresses and essays of the 1830s and 1840s, in which he propounded a version of transcendental idealism, and memorably portrayed moments of mystical insight. But Emerson's later writings suggest an increasing concern over the elusiveness of mysticism, and an increasing stress on ethical choice and practical power. These works reveal Emerson as an ethical philosopher who stressed the spiritual value of human relations, work and social action.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 The Mystic and the Selfmade Saint
8
2 Politics and Ecstasy
30
3 The Text of Experience
54
Essays Second Series
71
Representative Men
89
English Traits
112
The Conduct of Life
134
Society and Solitude
159
9 Toward a Grammar of the Moral Life
181
Notes
202
Works Cited
220
Index
227
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