Friday, May 30, 2014

Emerson's influence on Nietzsche, Bergson, and James

Casey on May 27, 2014 at 6:11 pm said: 
Its interesting to tie Emerson into the discussion since he had an influence on James, of course, but also a still surprisingly little appreciated influence on Nietzsche. The emphasize on power seems to obviously reflect some of the same language that Emerson liked to use. I think that Emerson is perhaps in fact Nietzsche’s most important influence, not just in something as simple as the ideas that they shared, but in the style of thinking, what Charles Pierce might call the habits of thought that Nietzsche picked up from Emerson.
Sep 4, 2004 - DAVID MIKICS
The Romance of Individualism in Emerson and Nietzsche Mikics, David, The Romance of Individualism in Emerson and Nietzsche, Ohio University Press, 2003, 263 pp, $49.95 (hbk), ISBN 0821414968.
Reviewed by Steven G. Affeldt , University of Notre Dame
All students of Nietzsche know of his profound admiration for Emerson’s writing. However, as Stanley Cavell has observed, this knowledge has mostly been repressed or ineffective; which is to say that the extent, depth, and specificity of Emerson’s influence upon Nietzsche has remained largely unacknowledged and unassessed. In the course of the past decade or so, owing in large part to the influence of Cavell’s own work on Emerson (and Nietzsche), this situation has begun to change. Emerson’s work has increasingly been taken up philosophically, and students of both Emerson and of Nietzsche have begun to explore systematically the relations between them. While the present study devotes considerably more attention to Nietzsche than to Emerson, it constitutes a provocative and important contribution to this work and enriches our understanding of each of these thinkers. [...]

However, while Emerson and Nietzsche each begin from the bleakest of judgments about the condition in which humans mostly exist (in “The American Scholar” Emerson speaks of humans living as bugs or spawn), their work does not merely condemn nor does it succumb to despair or pessimism. Rather, Mikics argues, their writing is largely devoted to articulating the nature of individuality, exploring why it is mostly not and how it may be achieved, and, through their writing itself, working to enable or provoke that achievement for themselves and others.

Within this shared project, Mikics elaborates many more specific points of contact and traces central aspects of Emerson’s influence on Nietzsche. He warns, however, against too closely assimilating the two. He wishes “to outline a dynamic relation in which Nietzsche struggles with Emerson’s influence and example in order to develop his own path” (p. 2), and he focuses in large part upon articulating what he regards as decisive differences in the ways each understands and seeks the achievement of individuality. His reason for this focus goes beyond the ordinary intellectual scrupulousness that seeks to register differences where they exist, and lies at the heart of the most central and interesting concern of this work.
Jan 3, 2002 - (From Amos Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson: An Estimate of His Emerson's works were well known throughout the United States and Europe in his day. Nietzsche read German translations of Emerson's essays, copied passages from “History” and “Self-Reliance” in his journals, and wrote of the Essays: that he had never “felt so much at home in a book.” Emerson's ideas about “strong, overflowing” heroes, friendship as a battle, education, and relinquishing control in order to gain it, can be traced in Nietzsche's writings. Other Emersonian ideas-about transition, the ideal in the commonplace, and the power of human will permeate the writings of such classical American pragmatists as William James and John Dewey. [...]

Cavell's engagement with perfectionism springs from a response to his colleague John Rawls, who in A Theory of Justice condemns Nietzsche (and implicitly Emerson) for his statement that “mankind must work continually to produce individual great human beings.” “Perfectionism,” › ... › Philosophy › Movements
The great American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson and the influential German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, though writing in different eras and ultimately ...
George J. Stack - 1992 - ‎Snippet view - ‎More editionsGeorge J. Stack traces the sources of ideas and theories that have long been considered the exclusive province of Friedrich Nietzsche to the surprisingly radical writings of the American essayist and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Jeffrey Church - 2015 - ‎Preview - ‎More editionsBy contrast, in my view, Nietzsche offers the lives of exemplary individuals as the truth about the good life and hence the ... Emerson, Nietzsche speaks of such individuals as “representative men” (Repr√§sentanten), as expressing the “image of ...
Jean McClure Mudge - 2015 - ‎Full view - ‎More editionsJean McClure Mudge. defeat in World War I, a successful German book mythologized Nietzsche as a pivotal Germanic-Nordic-Greek myth-creator for the German people.73 The next year, a booklet interpreted him as “Prophet” of an extreme, ...

Here are some recommendations of books to read that in some way or other challenge materialism. This is from Dr. Larry Dossey. Among his recommendations, I would particularly cite 
Smith’s “Beyond the Postmodern Mind”, 
Radin’s “Conscious Universe”, 
van Lommel’s “Consciousness Beyond Life”, 
Carter’s “Parapsychology and the Skeptics”, and 
Tart’s “The End of Materialism.” 
Perhaps the best of all – though a challenging read, heavily researched – is Kelley’s "Irreducible Mind.”
Edward F. Kelly, ‎Adam Crabtree, ‎Paul Marshall - 2015 - ‎Preview - ‎More editionsPhysicalism versus quantum mechanics. In Mind, Matter and Quantum Mechanics (3rd ed., pp. 245–260). Berlin: Springer.

The Emersonian Background of the Bergson-James Controversy
Anna M. Nieddu

13 I refer to the varieties of Emersonian suggestions that, also in Europe, spread out thanks to an exceptionally fast circulation of all the most important works by Emerson, and of Representative Men in particular. This almost immediate circulation is largely owed to the attendant success of Th. Carlyle’s works of 1841, On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History, and to the novelty represented by the disagreement expressed nine years later by Emerson in his Representative Men. In this book, the greatness of man is depicted like a potentiality extended to all human beings and every ‘immediate’ theodicy, that foresee some person mysteriously elected by God, is denied. Emerson’s thought on this topic restores the possibility of an ethical approach to the problem of the ‘greatness of men’; an approach that can be found in Bergson as well as in James. In this paper, cross-references to Emerson’s works come from: R. W. Emerson, The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Centenary Edition, ed. by E. W. Emerson, 12 vols. Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York, 1903-04.

19 The theme of “character” countersigns the reception of Emerson by Nietzsche too. The problem of the relationship Nietzsche-Emerson has almost crossed one century of the historiographical-philosophical search, considerably modifying some relevant interpretative parameters. An exhaustive outcome of this search is given by the book of an Italian scholar; B. Zavatta, La sfida del carattere. Nietzsche lettore di Emerson, Roma, 2004.

1 comment:

  1. The Mother & Sri Aurobindo's work on Consciousness is unsurpassable; Westerners keep on writing money-spinning books