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Here and There

Sites of Philosophy

Stanley Cavell

Edited by Nancy Bauer, Alice Crary, and Sandra Laugier

ISBN 9780674270480

Publication date: 04/26/2022

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The first posthumous collection from the writings of Stanley Cavell, shedding new light on the distinctive vision and intellectual trajectory of an influential American philosopher.

For Stanley Cavell, philosophy was a matter of responding to the voices of others. Throughout his career, he articulated the belief that words spring to life in concrete circumstances of speech: the significance and power of language depend on the occasions that elicit it. When Cavell died in 2018, he left behind some of his own most powerful language—a plan for a book collecting numerous unpublished essays and lectures, as well as papers printed in niche journals. Here and There presents this manuscript, with thematically relevant additions, for the first time.

These writings, composed between the 1980s and the 2000s, reflect Cavell’s expansive interests and distinctive philosophical method. The collection traverses all the major themes of his immense body of work: modernity, psychoanalysis, the human voice, moral perfectionism, tragedy, skepticism. Cavell’s rich and cohesive philosophical vision unites his wide-ranging engagement with poets, critics, psychoanalysts, social scientists, and fellow philosophers. In Here and There, readers will find dialogues with Shakespeare, Thoreau, Wittgenstein, Freud, Heidegger, Walter Benjamin, Wallace Stevens, Veena Das, and Peter Kivy, among others. One of the collection’s most striking features is an ensemble of five pieces on music, constituting Cavell’s first discussion of the subject since the mid-1960s.

Edited by philosophers who have been invested in Cavell’s work for decades, Here and There not only gathers the strands of a writing life but also maps its author’s intellectual journeys. In these works, Cavell models what it looks like to examine seriously one’s own passions and to forge new communities through unexpected conversations.

Praise

  • The writings gathered here are sparkling examples of Stanley Cavell’s claim that a philosophical puzzle can arise anywhere in the weave of life. Originally composed for different occasions, collectively they now seem like a letter from beyond, addressing each reader as if Cavell were speaking directly to them.

    —Veena Das, author of Life and Words

Authors

  • Stanley Cavell (1926–2018) was Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value, Emeritus, at Harvard University. His numerous books include The Claim of Reason, Cities of Words, and Philosophy the Day after Tomorrow.
  • Nancy Bauer is Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University and the author of How to Do Things with Pornography.
  • Alice Crary is University Distinguished Professor in Philosophy at The New School for Social Research and the author of Inside Ethics.
  • Sandra Laugier is Professor of Philosophy at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and the author of Why We Need Ordinary Language Philosophy.

Book Details

  • 336 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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