Writing in continuous gratitude to Gary Matthews's wonderful project of rescuing childhood from its disregard, not to say banishment, in professional philosophy, I relate here certain moments in his considerations of early childhood to moments in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, which opens with a scene of childhood from Augustine's Confessions, and also to moments in later stages of childhood (as Matthews also significantly indicates) and, beyond that, to adolescent crises and to what I have called philosophy as "the education of grown-ups." (...) I raise the issue of whether we are to see the "odd" questions of early childhood as proto-science, which will eventually graduate into better science, or as proto-philosophy, which will be continuously elaborated in philosophical investigation. This raises the question of whether philosophy is to be regarded, early or late, as inseparable from science or, as the later Wittgenstein urges, autonomous with respect to science's glamorous advances. (shrink)
Something out of the ordinary -- The interminable Shakespearean text -- Fred Astaire asserts the right to praise -- Henry James returns to America and to Shakespeare -- Philosophy the day after tomorrow -- What is the scandal of skepticism? -- Performative and passionate utterance -- The Wittgensteinian event -- Thoreau thinks of ponds, Heidegger of rivers -- The world as things.
Stanley Cavell has been a brilliant, idiosyncratic, and controversial presence in American philosophy, literary criticism, and cultural studies for years. Even as he continues to produce new writing of a high standard -- an example of which is included in this collection -- his work has elicited responses from a new generation of writers in Europe and America. This collection showcases this new work, while illustrating the variety of Cavell's interests: in the "ordinary language" philosophy of Wittgenstein and Austin, in (...) film criticism and theory, in literature, psychoanalysis, and the American transcendentalism of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. The collection also reprints Richard Rorty's early review of Cavell's magnum opus, The Claim of Reason (1979), and it concludes with Cavell's substantial set of responses to the essays, a highlight of which is his engagement with Rorty. (shrink)
Reissued with a new preface, this famous collection of essays covers a remarkably wide range of philosophical issues, including essays on Wittgenstein, Austin, Kierkegaard, and the philosophy of language, and extending beyond philosophy into discussions of music and drama. Previous edition hb ISBN (1976): 0-521-21116-6 Previous edition pb ISBN (1976): 0-521-29048-1.
In these three lectures, Cavell situates Emerson at an intersection of three crossroads: a place where both philosophy and literature pass; where the two traditions of English and German philosophy shun one another; where the cultures of America and Europe unsettle one another.
Granted a certain depth of accuracy in citing an aspect of Spengler as an enactment of an aspect of Wittgenstein's thought, Wittgenstein's difference from Spengler should have depth. One difference can be characterized by saying that in the Investigations Wittgenstein diurnalizes Spengler's vision of the destiny toward exhausted forms, toward nomadism, toward loss of culture, or of home, or community: he depicts our everyday encounters with philosophy, with our ideals, as brushes with skepticism, wherein the ancient task of philosophy, to (...) awaken us, or bring us to our senses, takes the form of returning us to the everyday, the ordinary, every day, diurnally. (shrink)
These lectures by one of the most influential and original philosophers of the twentieth century constitute a sustained argument for the philosophical basis of romanticism, particularly in its American rendering. Through his examination of such authors as Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Wordsworth, and Coleridge, Stanley Cavell shows that romanticism and American transcendentalism represent a serious philosophical response to the challenge of skepticism that underlies the writings of Wittgenstein and Austin on ordinary language.
In the first essay of this book, Stanley Cavell characterizes philosophy as a "willingness to think not about something other than what ordinary human beings think about, but rather to learn to think undistractedly about things that ordinary human beings cannot help thinking about, or anyway cannot help having occur to them, sometimes in fantasy, sometimes as a flash across a landscape." Fantasies of film and television and literature, flashes across the landscape of literary theory, philosophical discourse, and French historiography (...) give Cavell his starting points in these twelve essays. Here is philosophy in and out of "school," understood as a discipline in itself or thought through the works of Shakespeare, Molière, Kierkegaard, Thoreau, Brecht, Makavejev, Bergman, Hitchcock, Astaire, and Keaton. (shrink)
This reissue of an American philosophical classic includes a new preface by Cavell, in which he discusses the work's reception and influence. The work fosters a fascinating relationship between philosophy and literature both by augmenting his philosophical discussions with examples from literature and by applying philosophical theories to literary texts. Cavell also succeeds in drawing some very important parallels between the British analytic tradition and the continental tradition, by comparing skepticism as understood in Descartes, Hume, and Kant with philosophy of (...) language as practiced by Wittgenstein and Austin. (shrink)
A division has arisen within the naturalist school of moral philosophy, with the contenders being "the emotive theorists vs. the cognitive theorists." the author suggests that the fundamental agreements between the groups far outweigh the peripheral and sometimes illusory disagreements. the article establishes the areas of agreement, deals with illusory disagreements, and indicates the peripheral disagreements can be considered disagreements in emphasis. (staff).