Skepticism, Acknowledgment, and the Ownership of Learning

Paul Standish

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:

Series: American Philosophy

Skepticism, Acknowledgment, and the Ownership of Learning

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Part II, entitled “Skepticism and Language,” begins with a turn more directly to the practices of educational institutions. In this chapter Paul Standish considers various ways in which claims of ownership have been made in contemporary education and the connections of these with a commodification of knowledge. This is discussed in the light of Cavell's examination of the extension of skepticism through various forms of the relation to the other, not least in his consideration of Shakespearean tragedy. The pivotal distinction between knowing and acknowledging, elaborated originally in the paper of that name collected in Must We Mean What We Say?, is used to reveal the consequences for educational practice of certain kinds of denial. Standish points to Cavell's suggestion that there is a “stratum of symmetry” linking acknowledgment in relation to others with acceptance in relation to objects such that failure in these respects is significantly connected with an inability to accept the human condition.

Keywords: Skepticism; ownership of learning; contemporary education; scepticism; ordinary language philosophy; Shakespearean tragedy; Must We Mean What We Say; denial; acknowledgment

Chapter.  5075 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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