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“Not diverse from things”: Emersonian Materialism

  • Christopher A. Dustin
  • Joanna E. Ziegler

Abstract

It is often said that the problem with our culture is that it is too materialistic. We may be surprised, then, to hear a philosopher like Heidegger emphasize the importance of “things” when he talks about what it means to dwell. From Socrates onward, we are accustomed to picturing philosophers (and even philosophy itself) as keeping their distance from material things. Platonists are notorious for treating the particulars with disrespect. But Plato, the writer of dialogues, is not a Platonist; nor is Heidegger. Dwelling is not an abstract idea that we somehow inhabit. It is something we inhabit in the full sense of the word—habitually, through our actual engagement with the world and with each other. By receiving the sky and initiating mortals, dwelling brings us closer to God, but not by separating us from the earth.

Keywords

Material Thing Abstract Expressionist Superficial Sense Standing Reserve Nautical Almanac 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Christopher A. Dustin and Joanna E. Ziegler 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher A. Dustin
  • Joanna E. Ziegler

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