Download Cities of Words: Pedagogical Letters on a Register of the by Stanley Cavell PDF

By Stanley Cavell

In view that Socrates and his circle first attempted to border the simply urban in phrases, dialogue of an ideal communal life--a lifetime of justice, mirrored image, and mutual respect--has needed to come to phrases with the gap among that concept and truth. Measuring this distance step by means of functional step is the philosophical undertaking that Stanley Cavell has pursued on his exploratory direction. positioned on the intersection of 2 of his longstanding interests--Emersonian philosophy and the Hollywood comedy of remarriage--Cavell's new paintings marks an important boost during this undertaking. The book--which offers a process lectures Cavell awarded numerous occasions towards the top of his instructing profession at Harvard--links masterpieces of ethical philosophy and vintage Hollywood comedies to style a brand new approach of taking a look at our lives and studying to dwell with ourselves.

This booklet deals philosophy within the key of existence. starting with a rereading of Emerson's "Self-Reliance," Cavell strains the assumption of perfectionism via works through Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Kant, Mill, Nietzsche, and Rawls, and by means of such artists as Henry James, George Bernard Shaw, and Shakespeare. towns of phrases indicates that this ever-evolving concept, dropped at dramatic lifestyles in video clips similar to It occurred One evening, the bleak fact, The Philadelphia tale, and the girl Eve, has the facility to reorient the conception of Western philosophy.

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Extra info for Cities of Words: Pedagogical Letters on a Register of the Moral Life

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Don’t be put off by the lack of “therefore” in Emerson’s version. ”) I say Emerson is playful and serious in his repetition of Descartes because what Emerson does, in a passage that identifies Emerson 27 quoting with a fear of saying (“I dare not say”), is to quote (a sage) and therefore not exactly, or exactly not, to say the thing for himself. (I do not here invoke the technical philosophical distinction between mentioning and using a signifying phrase. One reason not to do so is that there is an ordinary use of a quotation, irrelevant to logic, in which you introduce it by saying “As so-and-so aptly remarks,” thus claiming your acknowledgment of the truth or aptness of the remark without taking responsibility for forming the thought.

Emerson’s true man, whose “standard you are constrained to accept” is a recasting of Kant’s idea, mentioned in my Introduction, of the human as having two “standpoints” on his existence, which Kant also pictures as our living in two worlds—the sensuous world in which we are governed by the laws of material things, and the intelligible world in which we are free. The true man’s standard is, in short, ours so far as we live adopting the standpoint of the intelligible world. (The justification for linking standard and standpoint involves my claim that “Self-Reliance” as a whole can be taken as an essay on human understanding and being misunderstood.

At the conclusion of his book James finds that his testimony yields “a certain uniform deliverance in which religions all appear to meet. It consists of two parts: 1. An uneasiness; and 2. ” And early in chapter 2 James had said: “I am willing to accept almost any name for the personal religion of which I propose to treat. ” But I cannot really be indifferent to differences, intellectual and practical, between what we will call religious uneasiness and what we call a moral crisis. James treats the seriousness of the testimonies he cites (explicitly out of deference to the imagined sensibilities of scientists) as hypotheses of the existence of “facts” that cannot actually (by us) be verified.

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