Pitch of Philosophy: Autobiographical Exercises

Pitch of Philosophy: Autobiographical Exercises

by Stanley Cavell
     
 

What is the pitch of philosophy? Something thrown, for us to catch? A lurch, meant to unsettle us? The relative position of a tone on a scale? A speech designed to persuade? This book is an invitation to the life of philosophy in the United States, as Emerson once lived it and as Stanley Cavell now lives it - in all its topographical ambiguity. Cavell talks about his… See more details below

Overview

What is the pitch of philosophy? Something thrown, for us to catch? A lurch, meant to unsettle us? The relative position of a tone on a scale? A speech designed to persuade? This book is an invitation to the life of philosophy in the United States, as Emerson once lived it and as Stanley Cavell now lives it - in all its topographical ambiguity. Cavell talks about his vocation in connection with what he calls voice - the tone of philosophy - and his right to take that tone, and to describe an anecdotal journey toward the discovery of his own voice. Cavell asks how the voice of philosophy can be heard amid the commerce of everyday life. His autobiographical exercises begin at home with his parents, his father an accidental pawnbroker and accomplished raconteur, his mother a trained and talented musician. In the course of showing us his certain steps in the discovery of his trade, he conveys the sense of what it means to learn to walk on one's own, with a Thoreauvian deliberateness. He pays suitable attention to a serious ally and antagonist to the task of philosophy as he understands it, namely, Jacques Derrida - yet Derrida has mounted a full-scale attack on "voice" and other concepts that Cavell has held open for much of a lifetime. The chapters are interwoven with intense family reminiscences in Cavell's discovery of J. L. Austin, his understanding of Wittgenstein, his raising of Emerson to the philosophical canon, his fascination with film (images of women in a medium for women), the revelation that film and opera are the media of otherness for women. And the voice at the end: hearing in himself the voice of his mother, which is music. Complex, sentimental, witty, A Pitch of Philosophy is for anyone who cares to take on philosophy, under whatever name it goes.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674669802
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
06/20/1994
Series:
Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures
Pages:
212
Product dimensions:
9.25(w) x 6.30(h) x (d)
Lexile:
1540L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Overture
1Philosophy and the Arrogation of Voice1
2Counter-Philosophy and the Pawn of Voice53
The Metaphysical Voice59
Worlds of Philosophical Difference67
Pictures of Destruction75
Derrida's Austin and the Stake of Positivism77
Exclusion of the Theory of Excuses: On the Tragic86
Exclusion of the Theory of the Non-Serious88
Skepticism and the Serious97
Two Pictures of Communication: Assigning105
What (Thing) Is Transmitted? Austin Moves108
Two Pictures of Language in Relation to (the) World114
Three Pictures of My Attachment to My Words: Signing118
3Opera and the Lease of Voice129
Bibliography171
Acknowledgments179
Subject Index191
Name Index194

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