By Stanley Cavell
This paintings is an advent to the lifetime of philosophy within the usa, as Emerson as soon as lived it, in all its topographical ambiguity.
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Extra resources for A Pitch of Philosophy: Autobiographical Exercises (The Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures)
Emerson's passage does not say that the boy's judgment is the best, or to be taken as final-that, for example, his limited experience is the soundest basis for judgment. It implies rather that the man's subsequent experience, become fixated, finalized, is no basis at all for judgments of his own. Emerson's phantasm of the nonchalant boy as sure of a dinner is of one-while aware of the hundreds-who is still to make what he can, however he must, of this mother and father, so of their affections of sympathy and hatred.
A way of assessing this set of conditions and of the idiosyncrasy of my derivations of its members is to note that all have derivatives in two remarkable texts that have already come up here, which may be understood as philosophical autobiographies: Nietzsche's Ecce Homo and Thoreau's Walden. I had thought that coming to terms with them would occupy the whole of this first essay, but now I can merely start steering toward its end by indicating the nature of their credentials. Most obvious is, as noted earlier, their massive, insistent arrogance (as in Thoreau's "I brag for humanity" and in Nietzsche's "I have ...
This condition is the basis and parable of the possibility and necessity in the education of humans, of making language mine, of finding my voice (my consent, my right to speak, to promise, to break my promise), hence the standing threat of not finding it,. or not recognizing it, or of its not being acknowledged. Call this the question of plagiarism in human identity. It is the condition of possibility of the self-theft of culture that we saw John Stuart Mill confess on behalf of Western high culture.
A Pitch of Philosophy: Autobiographical Exercises (The Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures) by Stanley Cavell