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The Political Thought of Henry David ThoreauPrivatism and the Practice of Philosophy$
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Jonathan McKenzie

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813166308

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813166308.001.0001

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The Fullness of Life

The Fullness of Life

Chapter:
(p.163) 6 The Fullness of Life
Source:
The Political Thought of Henry David Thoreau
Author(s):

Jonathan McKenzie

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813166308.003.0007

This concluding chapter argues that Thoreau’s overall philosophical mission to live a privatist life encompasses the whole of his thought. Through analyses of Thoreau’s natural history writings, letters, and the events leading to his death, this chapter concludes that Thoreau’s privatism is a viable political theory for nineteenth-century America and beyond. Finally, the chapter concludes that Thoreau’s desire to live “the fullness of life” is possible for him only through the forsaking of political duties.

Keywords:   Thoreau, Death, Privatism, Political Obligation, Individualism

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