I, for my part, endured all this, clinging to the original intention which I had formed upon my arrival, in the hope that he might come to desire the life of a lover of wisdom; but his obstinacy prevailed. This is the story of my first period of residence ...
Hintikka and Sandu had argued that 'Frege's failure to grasp the idea of the standard interpretation of higher-order logic turns his entire foundational project into a hopeless daydream' and that he is 'inextricably committed to a non-standard interpretation' of higher-order logic. We disagree.
We define qualia space Q to be the space of all possible conscious experience. For simplicity we restrict ourselves to perceptual experience only, though other kinds of experience could also be considered. Qualia space is a highly idealized concept that unifies the perceptual experience of all possible brains. We argue that Q is a closed pointed cone in an infinite-dimensional separable real topological vector space. This quite technical structure can be explained for the most part in a simple, intuitive way. (...) The structure of qualia space allows us to consider and even answer in a precise way such questions as: Is there a continuous path from the sensation of blue to the sensation of pain? Once we fix a desired accuracy of approximation, do there exist finitely many perceptual experiences such that any possible perceptual experience is approximately equal to one of them? What should be meant by ‘fundamentally different’ perceptual experiences? There is the possibility of additional structure, such as a Hilbert space structure on the vector space in which Q is embedded. (shrink)
Nearly $2 trillion is spent annually in the U.S. treating chronic illness — yet accessibility to quality health care services in rural communities for the chronically ill and dying remains problematic. Unique barriers present special challenges to a meaningful discussion of and subsequent strategies for addressing these issues in the context of increasingly scarce resources.
Richard Rorty and Stanley Cavell are both preoccupied with questions of contingency: whether conventions are ‘merely’ conventional, what kind of foothold they might provide, how to step away from convention, how to make convention one’s own. Not that the work of either philosopher could be described as conventional. Neither produced the philosophical equivalent of the ‘hackwork’ characterizing Thomas Kuhn’s ‘normal science’. Both philosophers invoke traditional philosophical argumentation, but do so only to depart from its terms. To some disciplinary (...) sensibilities, both might seem to indulge in meta-philosophy, talking about philosophy rather than doing it. Both thinkers would reject this... (shrink)
Including the substantial Introduction by Richard Eldridge, this volume consists of nine previously unpublished essays each of which focuses upon a single region of Cavell’s work. While the scope of the issues considered in the volume can be only incompletely indicated by listing the regions addressed, they include: ethics, philosophy of action, the normativity of language, aesthetics and modernism, American philosophy, Shakespeare, film, television, and opera, and the relation of Cavell’s work to German philosophy and Romanticism. The volume also (...) contains a useful index, and a brief annotated bibliography of works by and about Cavell. (shrink)
This essay responds to the contemporary anxiety in theology over the relationship between Christian and non-Christian discourse. My argument proceeds as follows. First, I construe the debate between liberal and postliberal theology as turning on the wrestle between the idiosyncrasy and intelligibility of Christian discourse. While the liberal tradition insists that Christian discourse can be rendered intelligible to non-Christian forms of thought and life, and so can contribute to the flourishing of a shared social life, postliberal critics worry that this (...) insistence leads to the capitulation of that discourse to foreign, hostile criteria, and so to the loss of the idiosyncratic Christian identity. Second, I .. (shrink)
Christian ethicists have neglected conscience, understood as an individual's moral self-awareness before a locus of accountability and judgment, over the last few decades. The aim of this essay is to suggest how this neglect came about. I draw on the work of Paul Lehmann and Oliver O'Donovan to illustrate how ethicists in the twentieth century became suspicious of conscience because of its association with the alleged ahistorical individualism of Immanuel Kant's work. I argue that a social-historicist conception of conscience, such (...) as H. Richard Niebuhr offered, attempts to save conscience from this suspicion. Ironically, however, Stanley Hauerwas's development of Niebuhr's historicist, communitarian approach to conscience, appears to have led to a dismissal of conscience. I conclude with a brief comment about what this dismissal has cost contemporary Christian ethics, namely the Christian tradition's basic commitment to the singularity of an individual's accountability before God. (shrink)
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)
Those most intimate with the works of H. Richard Niebuhr, who return to them time after time for theological and ethical sustenance, know that they exemplify a more interesting thinker than his brother, Reinhold. Of course, Reinhold was and remains the more public figure, read seriously in his time by politicians and theologians, celebrated by our current president, and enjoying renewed scholarly interest resulting in new editions of out-of-print works and a number of critical studies. Meanwhile, H. Richard (...) continues to exert decisive influence on American Protestant thought. Such diverse thinkers as Paul Ramsey, James Gustafson, Stanley Hauerwas, William Schweiker, Kathryn Tanner, Gordon Kaufman, Emilie Townes .. (shrink)
We are grateful to Stanley Fish for demonstrating what “Against Theory” had merely assumed, that the only kind of theory worth attacking is the kind which claims to be more than just another form of practice. Some readers have thought that our arguments were directed against all general reflection about literature or criticism. Others have thought that we were resisting the encroachment on literary study of themes derived from politics, or psychoanalysis, or philosophy. These are plausible misreading of our (...) intention, since the term “theory” is indeed sometimes applied to any critical argument marked by historical or aesthetic generalization or by the reading of literature in terms of themes derived from other disciplines. But, as Fish shows, neither empirical generality nor thematic novelty is enough to make an argument theoretical in more than a trivial sense, that is, in a sense that marks it as importantly different in kind from other critical arguments. Theory in a nontrivial sense always consists in the attempt “to stand outside practice in order to govern practice from without,” and this strong kind of theory is the kind whose coherence we deny . It is also the kind of theory engaged in by the vast majority of those who consider themselves theorists—including many who might prefer to think of themselves as practicing theory in some weaker sense.At the conclusion of “Philosophy without Principles,” Richard Rorty appears to join those who think we are attacking theory in its weaker senses as well as in the strong sense just described. He suggests that eliminating the writing and teaching of theory would deprive literary scholars of “an opportunity to discuss philosophy books—as well as novels, poems, critical essays, and so forth—with literature students” . If this were the only issue between Rorty’s version of pragmatism and ours, our disagreement would come to an immediate end, since nothing could be further from the aims of “Against Theory” than rendering a judgment about what books should be discussed in literary classrooms. But our disagreement runs deeper than debates about the curriculum. It involves, first, a fundamental disagreement about language and, second, an equally fundamental disagreement about the nature and consequences of pragmatism. Steven Knapp is an assistant professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley; his book Personification and the Sublime: Milton to Coleridge is forthcoming. Walter Benn Michaels, an associate professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, is working on the relation between literary and economic forms of representation in nineteenth-century America. A previous contribution to Critical Inquiry, “Sister Carrie’s Popular Economy,” appeared in the Winter 1980 issue. The authors’ joint contribution to Critical Inquiry, “Against Theory,” and “A Reply to Our Critics,” appeared respectively in the Summer 1982 and June 1983 issues. (shrink)
Drawing on themes found in James Marshall's writings on Nietzsche, the arts and the self, this paper explores the nature of influence in the arts and its relevance to education. It considers what Harold Bloom has called the ‘anxiety of influence’ and amplifies this in terms of broader questions concerning Emersonian self‐reliance. The particular twist these matters take in the lives of adolescents presents special problems for education in the arts—not least in view of the dangers of self‐deception, affectation (...) and pretentiousness—and raises in turn questions about the relation between high art and popular art. These matters connect also with questions concerning the kinds of vocabularies and ways of thought into which young people need to be initiated if they are to develop creatively and authentically. (shrink)
Contemporary Philosophy in Focus offers a series of introductory volumes on many of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. Stanley Cavell has been one of the most creative and independent of contemporary philosophical voices. At the core of his thought is the view that skepticism is not a theoretical position to be refuted by philosophical theory but is a reflection of the fundamental limits of human knowledge of the self, of others and of the external world that (...) must be accepted. This volume is the first attempt systematically and accessibly to describe and assess the full range of Cavell's work. There are new accounts of Cavell's contribution to the philosophy of mind and language, the theory of action, ethics, aesthetics, Romanticism, American philosophy, Shakespeare, and film and opera. Outside philosophy the appeal of this volume will be unusually broad. (shrink)
If militarism violates the ideals of liberty and justice in one way, and rapidly increasing social stratification violates them in another, then American democracy is in crisis. A culture of democratic accountability will survive only if citizens revive the concerns that animated the great reform movements of the past, from abolitionism to civil rights. It is crucial, when reasoning about practical matters, not only to admit how grave one's situation is, but also to resist despair. Therefore, the fate of democracy (...) depends, to some significant degree, on how we choose to describe the crisis. Saying that we have already entered the new dark ages or a post-democratic era may prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, because anyone who accepts this message is apt to give up on the hard work of organizing and contestation that is needed to hold political representatives accountable to the people. This paper asks how one might strike the right balance between accuracy and hope in describing the democracy's current troubles. After saying what I mean by democracy and what I think the current threats to it are, I respond to Romand Coles's criticisms of reservations I have expressed before about rhetorical excess in the works of Stanley Hauerwas, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Richard Rorty. This leads to a discussion of several points raised against me by Hauerwas. A digression offers some of my reasons for doubting that John Howard Yoder's biblical scholarship vindicates Hauerwas's version of pacifism. The paper concludes by arguing that Sheldon Wolin's work on the evisceration of democracy, though admirably accurate in its treatment of the dangers posed by empire and capital, abandons the project of democratic accountability too quickly in favor of the romance of the fugitive. (shrink)
Alongside Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam and Jacques Derrida, Stanley Cavell is arguably one of the best-known philosophers in the world. In this state-of-the-art collection, Alice Crary explores the work of this original and interesting figure who has already been the subject of a number of books, conferences and Phd theses. A philosopher whose work encompasses a broad range of interests, such as Wittgenstein, scepticism in philosophy, the philosophy of art and film, Shakespeare, and philosophy of mind and language, (...) Cavell has also written much about Henry Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Including contributions from Hilary Putnam, Cora Diamond, Jim Conant and Stephen Mulhall, this book is a must-have for libraries and students alike. (shrink)