First published in 1927, the preface reads: "It is directed to men and women of goodwill who are not completely satisfied with themselves, who believe that by taking thought they may add, however little, to their moral stature and to their efficiency in working towards whatever goals they may have adopted. The book is an essay in practical morals and is not at all concerned with ethical theories." A fascinating glimpse into psychology and morals from the early twentieth century, including chapters for young people, parents and children, husbands and wives!
Robinson discusses each of Emerson's major later works noting their increasing orientation to a philosophy of the 'conduct of life'. These books represent Emerson's attempt to forge a philosophy based on the centrality of domestic life, vocation and social relations and they reveal Emerson as an ethical philosopher who stressed the spiritual value of human relations, work and social action.
Ralph Waldo Emerson's 1860 book, The Conduct of Life is among the gems of his mature works. First published in the year of Abraham Lincoln's election as President, this work poses the questions of human freedom and fate. The book, here newly edited from the original 1860 edition and fully annotated to illuminate and trace Emerson's references, is a great classic of American philosophy and literature.