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ERIC Number: EJ1164865
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1857
"Language Must Be Raked": Experience, Race, and the Pressure of Air
Standish, Paul
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v50 n4 p428-440 2018
This article begins by clarifying the notion of what Stanley Cavell has called "Emersonian moral perfectionism." It goes on to explore this through close analysis of aspects of Emerson's essay "Experience," in which ideas of trying or attempting or experimenting bring out the intimate relation between perfectionism and styles of writing. "Where do we find ourselves?" Emerson asks, and the answer is to be found in part in what we write and what we say, injecting a new sense of possibility and responsibility into our relation to our words. But the language we speak and the lives that go with it are at the same time burdened with a past, and in the case of English, and in the American context especially, it is marked with a kind of repression relating to questions of slavery and race. These matters are implicated in questions of constitution, in both general and specifically political senses. Hence, inheritance and appropriation become causes of critical sensitivity, as do the forms of praise and acknowledgment that should meet them. The article explores ways of thinking through Emerson's relation to these aspects of experience and seeks to find responses pertinent to today.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A