Quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whilst all the world is in pursuit of power, culture corrects the theory of success.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. "Culture," The Conduct of Life (1860).

Stanley Cavell has argued that Emerson is here referring to Kant's philosophical problem of succession. That is, how can we come to know a world that appears to be a mere surface succession of images that constantly flow by us and are ever changing. As Emerson says in the opening poem to "Culture": "And the world's flowing fates in/his own mould recast." The "mould" may refer to Kant's mental categories with which he argues we organize and order the world. Emerson's response to Kant is founded, in essence, on a pun on "success" and "succession" where worldly material success has also to do with the epistemological play of phenomena.
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