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Thoreau's Importance for Philosophy$
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Rick Anthony Furtak, Jonathan Ellsworth, and James D. Reid

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823239306

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823239306.001.0001

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The Value of Being

The Value of Being

Thoreau on Appreciating the Beauty of the World

(p.112) Seven The Value of Being
Thoreau's Importance for Philosophy

Rick Anthony Furtak

Fordham University Press

Thoreau's writings are directly opposed to the notion that our world is value-neutral, an assumption which is often taken for granted in modern philosophy. His work examines the relation between the knower and the known, and the role played by the imagination in allowing the beauty and value of the world to be disclosed. The aesthetic understanding can provide a corrective to false assumptions about ontology, according to Thoreau, although everything depends on the perceiver: “the perception of beauty is a moral test.”

Keywords:   Aesthetics, value, poetry, epistemology, perception, moral ontology, subjectivity, mood, William James

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