Chapter

Philosophy as the Education of Grownups

Stanley Cavell

in Stanley Cavell and the Education of Grownups

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823234738
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823240753 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823234738.003.0002

Series: American Philosophy

Philosophy as the Education of Grownups

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In this essay, Cavell revisits this signature phrase, “philosophy as the education of grownups,” bringing together thoughts, prompted by the recent preparation for publication of his autobiography, of a return to the opening of the Investigations and a pondering of how children and grownups figure in that text. In particular, he considers the ways that our natural history, unlike that of animals, is one in which nature and convention intersect, a history of initiations, becomings, and inventions in the countless different things human beings do. In this ongoing process, we depend upon our being, as it were, teachers to one another, and this in turn reflects the ongoing possibilities of our community—in short, our politics, our life together. This is an idea to which the education of grownups is singularly pertinent. The receptiveness that is necessarily involved in this evokes the idea of philosophy as a kind of reading.

Keywords: Autobiography; Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations; Children; Grownups; Philosophy as reading; Teachers

Chapter.  5275 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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