Stanley Cavell: Philosophys Recounting of the Ordinary

Paperback | December 1, 1998

byStephen Mulhall

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Stephen Mulhall presents the first full-length philosophical study of the work of Stanley Cavell, best known for his highly influential contributions to the fields of film studies, Shakespearian literary criticism, and the confluence of psychoanalysis and literary theory. It is not properlyappreciated that Cavell's project originated in his interpretation of Austin's and Wittgenstein's philosophical interest in the criteria governing ordinary language, and is given unity by an abiding concern with the nature and the varying cultural manifestations of the sceptical impulse inmodernity. This book elucidates the essentially philosophical roots and trajectory of Cavell's work, traces its links with Romanticism and its recent turn towards a species of moral pefectionism associated with Thoreau and Emerson, and concludes with an assessment of its relations toliberal-democratic political theory, Christian religious thought, and feminist literary studies. It will be of interest to anyone concerned with the relationships between Anglo-American and Continental philosophy, and between philosophy and other disciplines in the humanities. 'an excellent presentation and discussion of [Cavell's] thought . . . very timely' Political Studies 'Learning to read Mulhall is both a suitable and a worthy first step to learning to read Cavell' British Journal of Aesthetics 'there can be no doubt as to the depth of Mulhall's knowledge of Cavell's writings or to his ability as an advocate. [The book] is also very well written. Mulhall's prose is capable of registering the fine grain in a subtle and elusive thinker and, while more conventional than Cavell's, is no lesssupple or eloquent.' Times Literary Supplement '[Mulhall's] explication is careful enough to explain the importance of Cavell's work, clarify the subtleties of Cavell's ideas, provide a complete overview of Cavell's thought, and show the coherence in Cavell's diverse writings . . .invaluable' Harvard Review

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Stephen Mulhall presents the first full-length philosophical study of the work of Stanley Cavell, best known for his highly influential contributions to the fields of film studies, Shakespearian literary criticism, and the confluence of psychoanalysis and literary theory. It is not properlyappreciated that Cavell's project originated i...

Stephen Mulhall is Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at New College, Oxford. He was previously Reader in Philosophy at the University of Essex.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:December 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198238509

ISBN - 13:9780198238508

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Table of Contents

Introduction: On Saying What We MeanPART I: PATTERNS, AGREEMENT, AND RATIONALITY1. Aesthetics: Hume, Kant, and Criticism2. Morality: Emotivism and Agreement3. Politics: The Social ContractPART II: CRITERIA, SCEPTICISM, AND ROMANTICISM4. Criteria, Scepticism, and the External World5. Criteria, Scepticism, and Other Minds6. Criteria, Counting, and RecountingPART III: COMMON THEMES, COMPETING PERSPECTIVESIntroduction: Redemptive Reading: Refractions and Reflexivities7. Shakespeare: Scepticism and Tragedy8. Psychoanalysis: Practices of Recovery9. Cinema: Photography, Comedy, MelodramaPART IV: PHILOSOPHY, PEFECTIONISM, AND RELIGION10. Thoreau: Writing, Mourning, Neighbouring11. Emerson; Perfectionism, Idiosyncrasy, Justice12. `Philosophy Cannot Say Sin'Postscript: Philosophy's ClosetBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Despite what his book's title might suggest, Stephen Mulhall's thorough explication of Stanley Cavell's philosophy is anything but ordinary. At the outset Mulhall makes it clear that he intends to address Cavell's exceptional formidability, and set himself not to attempt to do what can and mustonly be done by Cavell's own prose, but to clear the space that is required for it to do so'....to Mulhall's credit...he has cleared the space for such a return."--Philosophy and Literature"This book contains what is likely to remain for some time the most comprehensive and most ramified account of Cavell's work. It is a tour de finesse, at once densely argued and lucidly written, destined to become required reading in these fields."--Ethics