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Posts Tagged ‘Emerson’

The Emersonian, all-American individualism of the nineteenth century was destined from the beginning to fail as a creed. In violation of the wisdom of the ages, indeed of simple common sense, it regarded the individual from the ‘I am myself alone’ perspective, thus overlooking the nurturing social contexts in which alone individuality can develop. From Emerson’s self-reliant individual needing nothing but his own inner resources to the desocialized, hedonistic, narcissistic free spirit of the late twentieth century is really not a long journey.

Robert Nisbet, Prejudices: A Philosophical Dictionary, 1982, p. 187

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