Stanley Cavell: Philosophys Recounting of the Ordinary

Stanley Cavell: Philosophys Recounting of the Ordinary by Stephen 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 properly appreciated that Cavells project originated in his interpretation of Austins and Wittgensteins philosophical interest in the criteria governing ordinary language, and is givenunity by an abiding concern with the nature and the varying cultural manifestations of the sceptical impulse in modernity. This book elucidates the essentially philosophical roots and trajectory of Cavells work, traces its links with Romanticism and its recent turn towards a species of moralpefectionism associated with Thoreau and Emerson, and concludes with an assessment of its relations to liberal-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 [Cavells] 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 Mulhalls knowledge of Cavells writings or to his ability as an advocate. [The book] is also very well written. Mulhalls prose is capable of registering the fine grain in a subtle and elusive thinker and, while more conventional than Cavells, is no less supple or eloquent. Times Literary Supplement [Mulhalls] explication is careful enough to explain the importance of Cavells work, clarify the subtleties of Cavells ideas, provide a complete overview of Cavells thought, and show the coherence in Cavells diverse writings . . .invaluable Harvard Review
Publication Date:
20 / 01 / 1994

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