The Pluralist 8 (2):78-105 (2013)

Joseph Urbas
Université Bordeaux Montaigne
Emerson 's philosophical rehabilitation, begun in the late 1970s, has neglected an important branch of his thought: his metaphysics. Revisionist interpretations have generally followed Stanley Cavell's anti-metaphysical lead, privileging process and pluralism to the exclusion of any ultimate grounding principle. Russell Goodman's work takes Emerson scholarship in a new direction less hostile to metaphysics. His reading of Emerson 's "Nominalist and Realist" attempts to balance the principles of change and permanence, albeit in "unstable" alternation. What Goodman calls instability I call synthesis or "bi-polarity," made possible by a metaphysical doctrine whose core principle is universal causation. Emerson 's "causationism" openly embraces both Nominalism and Realism as true to opposite poles of the same causal and ontological continuum—that of reality itself.
Keywords Emerson  Goodman  Metaphysics
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DOI 10.5406/pluralist.8.2.0078
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