Philosophical Passages: Wittgenstein, Emerson, Austin, Derrida (The Bucknell Lectures in Literary Theory)

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9780631192695: Philosophical Passages: Wittgenstein, Emerson, Austin, Derrida (The Bucknell Lectures in Literary Theory)

Contemporary American philosopher, Stanley Cavell, has often returned to Emerson and Wittgenstein in his determination to recover vital links between American and European philosophy. In this collection of his writings, Cavell provides careful and sustained readings of Emerson's "Fate", Derrida's response to J.L. Austin in "Signature Event Context", and Wittgenstein's "Philosophical Investigations". The reading of "Fate" continues Cavell's investigation of Emerson's concept of thinking, which he began in the first chapter of "Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome". The reply to Derrida's remarks on Austin not only places Austin's theory of performative utterances in the context of his other writing but also recalls Austin's importance as a teacher and as an early influence on Cavell. "Notes on the Opening of Wittgenstein's Investigations" provides the opportunity of witnessing Cavell in the act of teaching a philosophical text.

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From the Back Cover:

Stanley Cavell, one of the most important of contemporary American philosophers, has often returned to Emerson and Wittgenstein in his determination to recover vital links between American and European philosophy. In this most recent collection of his writing, Cavell provides extraordinary careful and sustained readings of Emerson's "Fate", Derrida's response to J. L. Austin in "Signature Event Context", and Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. The reading of "Fate" continues Cavell's investigation of Emerson's concept of thinking, which he began in the first chapter of Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome. The reply to Derrida's remarks on Austin not only places Austin's theory of performative utterances in the context of his other writing but also recalls Austin's importance as a teacher and as an early influence on Cavell. "Notes on the Opening of Wittgenstein's Investigations" provides the rare opportunity of witnessing Cavell in the act of teaching a philosophical text. These much revised and updated notes, which have been circulating in manuscript since 1991 but are published here for the first time, were the basis of a portion of Cavell's lecture course on the Investigations, which he gave at Berkeley and later Harvard. They in part look back on the opening pages of The Claim of Reason.

About the Author:

Stanley Cavell is Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University. In addition to lecturing at many American universities, he has delivered acclaimed lectures in Israel, Austria, France, and England. His books include: Must We Mean What We Say (1969) The World Viewed (1971, 1979) The Senses of Walden (1972, 1981) The Claim of Reason (1979) Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage (1981) Disowning Knowledge in Six Plays of Shakespeare (1987) In Quest of the Ordinary (1988) This New Yet Unapproachable America (1989) and Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome (1990)

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