From popular culture to politics to classic novels, quintessentially American texts take their inspiration from the idea of infinity. In the extraordinary literary century inaugurated by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the lyric too seemed to encounter possibilities as limitless as the U.S. imagination. This raises the question: What happens when boundlessness is more than just a figure of speech? Exploring new horizons is one thing, but actually looking at the horizon itself is something altogether different. In this carefully crafted analysis, James von der Heydt shines a new light on the lyric craft of Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and James Merrill and considers how their seascape-vision redefines poetry's purpose.
Emerson famously freed U.S. literature from its past and opened it up to vastness; in the following century, a succession of brilliant, rigorous poets took the philosophical challenges of such freedom all too seriously. Facing the unmarked horizon, Emersonian poets capture—and are captured by—a stark, astringent version of human beauty. Their uncompromising visions of limitlessness reclaim infinity's proper legacy—and give American poetry its edge. Von der Heydt's book recovers the mystery of their world.
This volume, published on the fiftieth anniversary of Wittgenstein's death, brings together thirteen of Crispin Wright's most influential essays on Wittgenstein's later philosophies of language and mind, many hard to obtain, including the first publication of his Whitehead Lectures given at Harvard in 1996.Organized into four groups, the essays focus on issues about following a rule and the objectivity of meaning; on Saul Kripke's contribution to the interpretation of Wittgenstein; on privacy and self-knowledge; and on aspects of Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics. Wright uses the cutting edge of Wittgenstein's thought to expose and undermine the common assumptions in platonistic views of mathematical and logical objectivity and Cartesian ideas about self-knowledge. The great question remains: How to react to the demise of these assumptions? In response, the essays develop a concerted, evolving approach to the possibilities--and limitations--of constructive philosophies of mathematics and mind. Their collection constitutes a major statement by one of Britain's most important philosophers--and will provide an indispensable tool both for students of Wittgenstein and for scholars working more generally in the metaphysics of mind and language.
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