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Wittgenstein's Private LanguageGrammar, Nonsense and Imagination in “Philosophical Investigations”, §§ 243–315$
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Stephen Mulhall

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208548

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208548.001.0001

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Excursus: Cavell's Mezuzah

Excursus: Cavell's Mezuzah

(p.108) 8 Excursus: Cavell's Mezuzah
Wittgenstein's Private Language

Stephen Mulhall (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that Cavell's mezuzah is in the body of this discussion of privacy because the fantasies and fears of the diarist with which Cavell identifies impress on him (and drive him to impress on us) a connection between the diarist's notation of his whims and certain writers' ways of marking the name, or the place, or the life of God, and hence of the self in relation to God. More precisely, he associates the most intimate and penetrating forms of self-realization with both religious and anti-religious inflections of the idea of self-overcoming or self-dispossession — a willingness to divest oneself of what seems most vital to one's continued existence, in the name of that continued existence.

Keywords:   Cavell, mezuzah, whim, diarist, self

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