Emerson and Universal Mind

Emerson and Universal Mind

by Richard G. Geldard
     
 

Geldard delves into what remains of Emerson’s late Harvard Lectures to explore his core ideas on Mind, the Powers and Laws of Thought, Instinct and Inspiration, and Memory. In the process he presents Transcendentalism as an American development of the grand Neoplatonic vision. This one of a kind book concludes with “The Platonic Philosopher’s… See more details below

Overview

Geldard delves into what remains of Emerson’s late Harvard Lectures to explore his core ideas on Mind, the Powers and Laws of Thought, Instinct and Inspiration, and Memory. In the process he presents Transcendentalism as an American development of the grand Neoplatonic vision. This one of a kind book concludes with “The Platonic Philosopher’s Creed” by Thomas Taylor, the great Platonist whose translations and writings Emerson studied in depth.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
11/15/2013
Geldard (philosophy, Univ. of Philosophical Research) illuminates Ralph Waldo Emerson's thought through an analysis of "The Natural History of the Intellect," a series of six lectures Emerson (Nature; Addresses and Lectures) delivered at Harvard University in 1871. Few have devoted much attention to these talks because many critics think that by the time he gave them, Emerson was already in mental decline; in any case, the full text of these lectures is not available. Geldard ably argues that the talks offer a significant perspective on Emerson's fundamental line of thought. Emerson divided philosophies into two parties: materialists, who start from experience, and idealists, who begin with consciousness. Emerson was decidedly in the latter camp. For him, "consciousness" did not refer to the private musings of individuals. Rather, he maintained that all humans were joined in a Universal Mind, from which the whole of nature proceeds. The author writes not as a detached scholar but as a firm partisan of Emerson's idealist thought, which he holds is supported by modern science. VERDICT Geldard's combination of enthusiasm and insight makes this book an ideal entry point into Emerson's philosophy. Readers interested in 19th-century American thought will find it valuable.—David Gordon, Bowling Green State Univ., OH

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936012640
Publisher:
Larson Publications NY
Publication date:
10/07/2013
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
6.04(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.31(d)

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From the Publisher
“A brilliant, forceful, cogent, eloquent, and personal brief for the essential validity of the great Neoplatonic doctrine of ideas, and a wholly believable effort to place Emerson firmly in that tradition.” —Robert D. Richardson, author of Emerson, The Mind on Fire

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