This book gives the first complete, fully historicized account of Emerson's metaphysics of cause and effect and its foundational position in his philosophy as a whole. Urbas tells the story of the making of a metaphysician and in so doing breaks with the postmodern, anti-metaphysical readings that have dominated Emerson scholarship since his philosophical rehabilitation began in late 1970s. This is an intellectual biography of Emerson the metaphysician but also a chapter in the cultural life-story of a concept synonymous, in the Transcendentalist period, with life itself, the story of the principle at the origin of all being and change. Emerson's Metaphysics proposes an account of Emerson's metaphysical thought as it unfolds in his writings, as it informs his philosophy as a whole, and as it reflects the intellectual and religious culture in which he lived and moved and had his being. This book will be of interest to philosophers, literary scholars, and students of English, philosophy, and intellectual and religious history who are interested in Emerson and the American Transcendentalist movement.