Brilliant, eloquent, wholly believable . . . —Robert Richardson

Emerson and Universal Mind

by Richard Geldard
Neoplatonism / American Transcendentalism



6 x 9, 96 pages

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“A brilliant, forceful, cogent, eloquent, and personal

brief for the essential validity of the great Neoplatonic

doctrine of ideas, and a wholly believable effort to

place Emerson firmly in that tradition.”

              —Robert Richardson,
author of Emerson, The Mind on Fire

Emerson and Universal Mind
is a gifted author's

commentary based on what Emerson spoke of as

the central goal of his writing life: articulating clearly

the nature and purpose of the human mind. Late in 

life, in 1871 at age sixty-eight, he was invited by

Harvard University to give a series of lectures to a

select group of graduate students. He called these

lectures the “Natural History of Intellect” and much

of the content was published after his death under

that title. Scholars and historians since then have

neglected this material, thinking it too obscure or

not well-conceived; but in more recent years, interest

in Emerson’s great project in detailing the nature of

mind has increased. Geldard’s brief but compact

analysis engages us intimately with Emerson’s in-

sights and focused attention on the question of mind

in the universe.

Special feature: The book concludes with Thomas

Taylor's "The Platonic Philosopher's Creed."  


Table of Contents

Part I.  The Chief Task of Emerson’s Life

   1: Emerson Returns to Harvard
   2: The Principles
   3: The Journey Begins
   4: The Neoplatonic Vision
   5: Maturity and Theories of Mind

Part II. The Harvard Lectures or Natural History of Intellect

   1. The  Powers and Laws of Thought
       The Nature of Intellect
       The Identity of Thought With Nature
       The Sources of Mental Power

   2. Instinct and Inspiration
       Shifting Rhetoric
       Inspiration Rising From Instinct
       Our Pathetic Intellect
       Trusting the Unknown Thought
       Serving Our Genius
       The Integrity of the Intellect

   3. Memory

Appendix I
A Brief History of Emerson’s Ideas on Mind

Appendix II
The Platonic Philosopher’s Creed


About the Author


About Richard Geldard



"Geldard's knowledge and

understanding of Emerson

is second to none, including

the inimitable Harold Bloom."

    —Robert Lamb, New York

             Journal of Books



Richard G. Geldard is a full-time writer and lecturer

living in New York City and the Hudson Valley.  His

primary contribution to Emerson studies is in making

difficult texts accessible to serious readers.  Before

turning to writing Richard was an educator, teaching

English and philosophy at the secondary, undergraduate,

and graduate levels. His most recent appointment is

with the philosophy faculty of the University of Philo-

sophical Research in their online Masters degree pro-

gram. Prior to that he was on the graduate faculty of

the Pacifica Graduate Institute in California, and Yeshiva

College in New York. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College,

The Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College

and Stanford University, where he earned his doctorate

in Dramatic Literature and Classics in 1972. He has also

studied at St. John's College, Oxford. Richard has written

ten books, including studies of Ralph Waldo Emerson and

Greek philosophy and culture.

Larson has published three of Richard's books,

see "Also by Richard Geldard" above.


Also by Richard Geldard

Click below to see each of Larson's other books

on Ralph Waldo Emerson by Richard Geldard.

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