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On The Significance Of Disagreement: Stanley Cavell And Ordinary Language Philosophy

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Chapter Summary

One of Stanley Cavells constant preoccupations is to address the sentiment often voiced by critics of ordinary language philosophy that its methods and its very inspiration are conservative in nature. This chapter clarifies why the appeal to the ordinary in Cavell cannot be understood as a call for the acceptance of the present state of society, or as a demand for renouncing the critical task of philosophy. Cavell is mainly interested in two aspects of Kants position: first, he aims at understanding the specific nature of the differences at stake and of the analysis that foreground them; and, second, he gives considerable attention to the notion of the universal voice (sensus communis) and to its implications for a conception of reason at large. Cavell takes as the starting point of his analysis a comparison between the ordinary use of the term criteria and the one Wittgenstein makes in the Investigations.

Keywords: ordinary language philosophy; Stanley Cavell; universal voice (sensus communis); Wittgenstein



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