ISBN-10:
0674018184
ISBN-13:
2900674018180
Pub. Date:
10/01/2005
Publisher:
Harvard
Cities of Words: Pedagogical Letters on a Register of the Moral Life / Edition 1

Cities of Words: Pedagogical Letters on a Register of the Moral Life / Edition 1

by Stanley Cavell

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Overview

Cities of Words: Pedagogical Letters on a Register of the Moral Life / Edition 1

Since Socrates and his circle first tried to frame the Just City in words, discussion of a perfect communal life -- a life of justice, reflection, and mutual respect -- has had to come to terms with the distance between that idea and reality. Measuring this distance step by practical step is the philosophical project that Stanley Cavell has pursued on his exploratory path. Situated at the intersection of two of his longstanding interests -- Emersonian philosophy and the Hollywood comedy of remarriage -- Cavell's new work marks a significant advance in this project. The book -- which presents a course of lectures Cavell gave several times toward the end of his teaching career at Harvard -- links masterpieces of moral philosophy and classic Hollywood comedies and melodramas to fashion a new way of looking at our lives and learning to live with ourselves.

This book offers philosophy in the key of life. Beginning with a rereading of Emerson's "Self-Reliance," Cavell traces the idea of perfectionism through works by Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Kant, Mill, Nietzsche, and Rawls, and by such artists as Henry James, George Bernard Shaw, and Shakespeare. Cities of Words shows that this ever-evolving idea, brought to dramatic life in movies such as It Happened One Night, The Awful Truth, The Philadelphia Story, and The Lady Eve, has the power to reorient the perception of Western philosophy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900674018180
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/01/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Stanley Cavell was Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value, Emeritus, at Harvard University.

Table of Contents

Prefacevii
Introduction1
1.Emerson19
2.The Philadelphia Story35
3.Locke49
4.Adam's Rib70
5.John Stuart Mill82
6.Gaslight102
7.Kant119
8.It Happened One Night145
9.Rawls164
10.Mr. Deeds Goes to Town190
11.Nietzsche208
12.Now, Voyager227
13.Ibsen247
14.Stella Dallas265
15.Freud282
16.The Lady Eve301
17.Plato313
18.His Girl Friday340
19.Aristotle352
20.The Awful Truth373
21.Henry James and Max Ophuls384
22.G. B. Shaw: Pygmalion and Pygmalion409
23.Shakespeare and Rohmer: Two Tales of Winter421
Themes of Moral Perfectionism in Plato's Republic445
Acknowledgments449
Index453

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