After Emerson

After Emerson

After Emerson

After Emerson

Synopsis

John T. Lysaker works between and weaves together questions and replies in philosophical psychology, Emerson studies, and ethics in this book of deep existential questioning. Each essay in this atypical, philosophical book employs recurring terms, phrases, and questions that characterize our contemporary age. Setting out from the idea of where we are in an almost literal sense, Lysaker takes readers on an intellectual journey intothematic concerns and commitments of broad interest, such as the nature of self and self-experience, ethical life, poetry and philosophy, and history and race. In the manner of Emerson, Cavell, and Rorty, Lysaker's vibrant writing is certain to have a transformative effect on American philosophy today.

Excerpt

Our being is descending into us from we know not whence.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

I. How do you inhabit the world? When you stretch, caress and kiss, when you read and write, how are you? If you were to give a descriptively rich and convincing account of yourself on this score, what terms would you use? Would you speak of muscles contracting and expanding, of circulatory systems, synapses, and the careful maintenance of body temperature? Would you speak of experiences you’ve had, of smells and sounds, of recurring thoughts and feelings, perhaps even commitments? Would you speak of the company you keep, of your parents or your country, of friends, enemies, colleagues? Would you speak of gender, race, sexuality, or some socioeconomic status? What of your culture, subculture, or generational demographic? Would you speak of a mentor, a hero, possibly a god, and the mark their presence (or absence) has left on your bearings?

How do you inhabit the world? If you were to give a descriptively rich and convincing account of yourself on this score, one you would comfortably offer as self-knowledge, what grammar would you use? Would you speak of those events and things that have made and continue to shape you, most without your say-so? Would you also speak of how you’ve under gone and engaged those events and things, submitted to some, resisted others, and conspired with those that seemed to open a path worth pursuing? Would you speak of the ones to whom you speak (including some future you), or of the very fact that you often address others without knowing it? 1 . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.