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Becoming Who We ArePolitics and Practical Philosophy in the Work of Stanley Cavell$
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Andrew Norris

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190673949

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190673949.001.0001

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Skepticism and Transcendence

Skepticism and Transcendence

Chapter:
(p.49) Chapter 2 Skepticism and Transcendence
Source:
Becoming Who We Are
Author(s):

Andrew Norris

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190673949.003.0003

This chapter addresses Cavell’s understanding skepticism, demonstrating that Cavell neither affirms the correctness of the skeptic’s claims nor refutes them, but provides a critique of epistemology. Skepticism is an expression of our deep discomfort with our finitude, our resistance to accepting the world and acknowledging those with whom we share it. And it is a particularly pure example of a more general attempt to speak without accepting responsibility for the conditions that make speech intelligible—an attempt to disown the criteria of our language, to speak without speaking to someone, to speak without being someone who needs or wants to speak, and who wants and needs to be addressed. This chapter draws heavily upon Wittgenstein and Heidegger in its account of this aspect of Cavell’s work, as other commentators have as well and upon Thompson Clarke, as they have not.

Keywords:   J. L. Austin, critique, criteria, finitude, generic object, Thompson Clarke, Martin Heidegger, Immanuel Kant, skepticism, Ludwig Wittgenstein

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