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The Claim of Reason
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Table of Contents

PART ONE Wittgenstein and the Concept of Human Knowledge I: Criteria and Judgment II: Criteria and Skepticism III: Austin and Examples IV: What a Thing Is (Called) V: Natural and Conventional PART TWO Skepticism and the Existence of the World VI: The Quest of Traditional Epistemology: Opening VII: Excursus on Wittgenstein's Vision of Language VIII: The Quest of Traditional Epistemology: Closing PART THREE Knowledge and the Concept of Morality IX: Knowledge and the Basis of Morality X: An Absence of Morality XI: Rules and Reasons XII: The Autonomy of Morals PART FOUR Skepticism and the Problem of Others XIII: Between Acknowledgment and Avoidance

Reviews

"An altogether remarkable work of American philosophy...that occupies the buffer zone between poetry and philosophy in a unique--and perhaps uniquely American way."--Critical Inquiry "An intensely personal and uniquely provocative book. Stanley Cavell is a philosophical original."--Review of Metaphysics "The Claim of Reason is one of the great adventures of 20th-century philosophy; not only an incomparable exploration of skepticism and the knowledge of others, but also an exemplary reading of an exemplary 20th-century philosopher, and one of the deepest meditations we have on philosophy and its history. There are countless things to learn from and engage with in this book, and I haven't been out of reach of it since it was first published twenty years ago. It remains an indispensable, inexhaustible philosophical text for our time."--Richard Moran, Harvard University "The necessity for Cavell's book is more pressing than ever. Again and again, Cavell shows us how in philosophy we make mysteries of ourselves and others, and fail to see the genuine sources of mystery in our lives. He shows us the fate of reason in our philosophizing: how we have satisfied ourselves, or tried to, with an etiolated, moralized substitute for the real thing. Wittgenstein said that in the philosophical race the winner is the one who can run most slowly. This wonderful book slows our thinking in the way Wittgenstein had in mind. We are repeatedly surprised, stopped short, turned round--by a work that reconnects philosophy with the needs it promises to serve."--Cora Diamond, University of Virginia "There are various reasons why a work of philosophy might be accorded the status of a classic. Some books manage to be always ahead of you, so that each time you come back to the work, after an interval during which you have grown philosophically, you discover that the author has already been there before you. Other books have the uncanny power to give voice to thoughts you took to be peculiarly yours, thus emboldening you to own them. While yet others are classics not only for all they say, but because of all they almost say--every page seems to nod at some powerful but untamed thought waiting to be befriended. Stanley Cavell's The Claim of Reason is a classic in all three of these ways at once."--James Conant, University of Chicago "An altogether remarkable work of American philosophy...that occupies the buffer zone between poetry and philosophy in a unique--and perhaps uniquely American way."--Critical Inquiry "An intensely personal and uniquely provocative book. Stanley Cavell is a philosophical original."--Review of Metaphysics

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