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called “Knowing and Acknowledging,” Cavell introduces his special use of and The force of acknowledgment, however, perhaps nowhere informs Cavell’s. What we’ll doFor our last meeting of the year, we’ll discuss Stanley Cavell’s essay “Knowing and Acknowledging” from Must we mean. Cavell Knowing Acknowledging Red – Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online.

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The fact that I cannot know that another person is in cagell is something that ought to concern me. There are also many things that I know about my foot but the fact that it exists is not something that I usually say I “know”. These kinds of questions lead me to a feeling of isolation which, in its extreme, I call despair.

Regardless of this fact, Russell proceeds to explain which things are self-evident truths for him; i. Taking the example of our ability to feel pain, Cavell addresses adn skeptical claim that it is not possible to know that two people are actually feeling the same pain.

This is what Cavell means by acknowledgment. He questions everything from the existence of the table to whether other minds exist.

Favourite Thinkers I: Stanley Cavell

I have a strong sense of the magnitude of the problems these questions create. Although Russell admits the possibility of asking questions without any answers, there may be a question as to whether he is actually uncertain at all.

He raves about the power of logic and terms it “the great liberator of the imagination, presenting innumerable alternatives which are closed to the unreflective common sense” Russell Next, I will consider the solution offered by Cavell which claims to bring despair to an end. Although, I cannot help but feel that his solution avoids the real problem; namely, that these questions do not admit of certain answers.


Through acknowledgment, one is able to express certain knowledge that another is in pain.

But, like Cavell, I think that doubt does, in fact, make sense. The “phenomenological pang” is what I feel when I contemplate skeptical questions.

Cavell shows me a way to live with the fact that I cannot know beyond what can be acknowledged. I too feel that these questions are worth asking and that they often lead to a feeling of despair.

In addition to moral reasons, there are political reasons for engaging in this kind of pursuit. Following this, I will discuss the attempts by Cavell and Wittgenstein to resolve the problem of uncertainty and, by extension, the problem of despair. Also, he concludes by saying that it is the process of asking skeptical questions that is important to philosophy, not whether an answer can be found. Feminism, Environmental Philosophy and the Critique of Rationalism,” Val Plumwood describes something called the “relational account of self” Plumwood If this prospect does not frighten you, then I do not think you are taking the skeptic seriously.

Beyond that, it seems he is content to question these things indefinitely. Is there a way which will permit me to ask these questions and not feel the despair of uncertainty? Firstly, I will clarify what I mean by despair and explicate the reason why I think philosophy brings one to this state.


Favourite Thinkers I: Stanley Cavell | Pop Theory

In this case, the cars are not numerically the same–i. Rather, there is a continuous sensation of what is referred to as pain but it is not known in the ordinary sense of the word Cavell I am much more likely to say “I know that Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon” than to say “I know Whitehorse exists”. However, these two positions are utterly irreconcilable. I realize that this is a contentious claim and I am only putting it forward as a possibility, for I cannot otherwise understand why he does not have this sense of despair.

U of Vic Philosophy Student Union

This dissolves the dividing line between reason and emotion; it gives the self a place in nature; it does not regard others of whatever sort as disconnected from the self. On a daily basis we operate under the assumption that these questions are secondary; we presuppose certainty.

For me, this slippery slope which leads inevitably to a solipsistic position is deeply disconcerting. He describes philosophy as “food for the mind” Russell If we want to speak of something that is numerically the same, Cavell claims acknoeledging can do so by using an example with colours.