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Thinking Man’s Question

July 2024
1min read

Alfred Kazin’s “Where Would Emerson Find His Scholar Now?” (December 1987), brings to mind Emerson’s favorite greeting upon visits from dear friends. “What has become clear to you since we last met?” he would inquire. The greeting presents both an invitation and a challenge to the guests to assess the progress of their thinking. Like much of Emerson’s writing, it shows his profound respect for, and delight in, the life of the mind. With a single question, he probes more deeply than many a multipage questionnaire.

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