E MERSON AND H IS P EOPLE “…I acknowledge that if Emerson is the founder of the differences in American thinking, then later American thinkers…are going to be indebted to Emerson. What I deny is that their thinking, so far as it is recognizable as something distinctly called pragmatism, captures or clarifies or retains all that is rational or moral in the Emersonian event.” (73) Peirce DeweyJames yes NO
D IFFERENCE (1/2) How can Emerson be a proto-pragmatist when he “differs” those labeled as “pragmatists?” Emerson Mood as “method” Genius & Whim centered in the common, the low, and the near Dewey Scientific method Reconstruction towards higher grounds
D IFFERANCE (2/2) The importance of exploring, respecting, and maintaining the difference (versus “sticking a label on it” and ignoring the differences) “What is important to me is what I find to be at stake in asserting the differences.” (78)
E LOQUENCE : TWO BY TWO “But do your work, and I shall know you.” “Self- Reliance” Your work now, in reading him, is the reading of his page, and allowing yourself to be changed by it.” (79)
A MERICA IS AS TRANSCENDENTALIST AS IT IS PRAGMATIST … What’s the “loss” of calling Emerson a proto- pragmatist? We lose sight of his difference from pragmatism, i.e. his transcendentalism By extension, we lose the richness and the genius contained within his invitation to walk with us We continue to repress a voice that helped create us; not only do we lose but those following us may lose…
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