Cities of Words EBOOK Tooltip Pedagogical Letters on a Register of the Moral Life

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  • Engels
  • 9780674971271
  • oktober 2005
  • E-book
  • Adobe ePub
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This book--which presents a course of lectures Cavell presented several times toward the end of his teaching career at Harvard--links masterpieces of moral philosophy and classic Hollywood comedies to fashion a new way of looking at our lives and learning to live with ourselves.


What does it mean to live a moral life? In his typically provocative fashion, Cavell answers this question by juxtaposing various philosophical responses with particular films that illuminate those responses...Cavell's 'letters' offer a ready and heady departure from the usual conversation on moral life, and his inventive use of film helps bring the philosophers he discusses to life. -- Henry I. Carrigan Jr. Library Journal 20040501 A sober examination of an ethics of 'self-reliance,' Cavell's cinematic criticism is as entertaining as it is enlightening and exemplifies, once again, his uncanny ability to recover the deepest insights of modern life within the language of the ordinary. Publishers Weekly 20040426 In Cities of Words, a knotty and enlightening book, chapters about philosophers are paired with chapters about films: Emerson and The Philadelphia Story, Locke and Adam's Rib, Nietzsche and Now, Voyager, Aristotle and The Awful Truth...Cavell shows that the spirit of moral quest has an unusual power, even in the restricted world of these films. For all their artifice, they suggest that characters really can change themselves, that they can form ideals of justice, while keeping in mind how much failure and imperfection will be met along the way. That's not a bad democratic vision, and it remains as potent now as it was when Katharine Hepburn rediscovered her love for Cary Grant. -- Edward Rothstein New York Times 20040529 In the big parade of American writing about film, Stanley Cavell occupies a strange, outsider position. A Harvard professor of philosophy, he is not, by his own admission, either a film critic or a film scholar; yet he has written with persistent trenchancy and brilliance about movies...Now Cavell, in his late seventies, has given us a volume that synthesizes his life's work in philosophy and film, while adding a third leg to the triangle: teaching. Cities of Words is based on a celebrated course of lectures he gave several times before he retired from the classroom, which alternated discussions of philosophical or literary texts and films...In The World Viewed, Cavell wrote: 'It is generally true of the writing about film which has meant something to me that it has the power of the missing companion. Agee and Robert Warshow and Andre Bazin manage that mode of conversation all the time; and I have found it in, among others, Manny Farber, Pauline Kael, Parker Tyler, Andrew Sarris.' Alongside these names so companionable to film buffs, I would happily add another: Stanley Cavell. -- Phillip Lopate Film Comment 20040701 Without genre or parallel, this book continues the interior dialogue of Cavell on the traditions of and prospects for moral perfectionism. -- D. W. Sullivan Choice 20041101 In Cities of Words, Cavell once again reminds us of the practical importance of philosophy. He not only offers insightful commentaries on the giants of moral philosophy but also prompts us to engage in the much-needed conversation about the good life. -- Mariana Ortega Times Higher Education Supplement 20050408 This is a political book, not simply because of Cavell's readings of political philosophy, which intersperse his discussion of the films and are, as usual, probing and original, but because of its overt pedagogical aim: to educate his readers and to show us how we educate each other. -- Katerina Deligiorgi Philosophers' Magazine 20050401

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oktober 2005
Ebook formaat
Adobe ePub


Stanley Cavell
Harvard University Press


Originele Titel
Cities of Words: Pedagogical Letters on a Register of the Moral Life,

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