By Stanley Cavell
This publication is a call for participation to the lifetime of philosophy within the usa, as Emerson as soon as lived it and as Stanley Cavell now lives it--in all its topographical ambiguity.
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Extra info for A Pitch of Philosophy: Autobiographical Exercises (The Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures)
Austin too depended in his thinking on a knack for telling stories with lucid pertinence to philosophical issues, often to moral dilemmas; and his Philosophy and the Arrogation of Voice 21 fastidiousness with the English tongue was an essential half of what my father despaired of for himself (eloquence was the other half), who possessed by the time I came into his life no ordinary language, his Russian and Polish fragmentary, his Hebrew primitive, his Yiddish frozen, his English broken from the beginning.
My little book on Walden, as if more than twenty years ago establishing certain of the conditions of the present moment of depiction, comments on Thoreau's passage as follows: "What the imperative means [«our moulting season ... must be"] is that our moulting season is not a natural crisis. . In the newest testament nature may prompt and bless my redemption; but it does not accomplish it on my behalf. What I have to work out is still my salvation, and still in fear and trembling. The crisis is still mine to spend)) (The Senses of Walden, pp.
The devastation of spirit in their quarrels, and their mutual 22 A PITCH OF PHILOSOPHY destruction of interest in the world, are measures for me of arguments that must not be won, and hence-so I think-of my conception of philosophy as the achievement of the unpolemical, of the refusal to take sides in metaphysical positions, of my quest to show that those are not useful sides but needless constructions. they were mad; and I wondered this about myself, in my absorption of their opposite griefs, becoming both their accused and their accuser, and as unintelligible to myself as if I had not learned speech.