Digital Dialogue 16: Emerson and Self-Culture

John Lysaker, Professor of Philosophy at Emory University, joins me for the first of three special SPEP 2009 editions of the Digital Dialogue recorded in Arlington, VA at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existentialist Philosophy.

John’s research focuses on philosophical psychology, aesthetics, social and political philosophy, and 19th and 20 century continental and American philosophy.

He has numerous publications in these areas, including two monographs, his first, You Must Change Your Life: Poetry and the Birth of Sense, was published in 2002 by Penn State University Press, and his second, Emerson and Self-Culture, was published in 2008 by Indiana University Press.

He is also the co-author of Schizophrenia and the Fate of the Self, published in 2008 by Oxford University Press, and the co-editor of  Emerson and Thoreau: Figures of Friendship forthcoming in January 2010 from the University of Indiana Press.

It is John’s work on Emerson that brings him to the Digital Dialogue today.  In it, John enters into dialogue with the thinking of Ralph Waldo Emerson in order to perform self-culture, which he understands as an ongoing activity of self-realization in which one articulates and affirms the commitments and values that animate one’s life.

Digital Dialogue 16 with John Lysaker: Emerson and Self-Culture

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • dirkusa says:

    performativity is key and points to the false distinction between rhetoric and philosophy, but whether Kierkegaard's indirect comunication, Rorty's reading in hopes of conversion as a Pragmatist's Progress, or St.Fish's self-consuming artifacts I still question what we actually mean when we say that a book changed our lives?

  • dirkusa says:

    also the question of accountability is central, but we seem to have gone from kinds of paternalism to some version of the customer is always right, whether in say education or even medicine or politics. so to move to a kind of meritocracy with mutual accountability would be an achievement, but one with little public/cultural support that i can see.

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