Chapter

Philosophy as Education

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/9780823234738.003.0011

Series: American Philosophy

Philosophy as Education

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The coda provided by Cavell's short paper “Philosophy as Education” echoes themes that run through this collection. If philosophical problems are solved by rearranging or putting together again what we have always known, this will sometimes be a matter of remembering what we have forgotten. This will perforce include what we have forgotten as a result of denials that prevail in the sometimes oppressive institutions of contemporary education. Overcoming such forms of denial will not be a matter of acquiring new facts, and it will not be well described in terms of natural growth; rather, it will require a kind of conversion, for this will be a condition of the autonomy of the grownup. It is reference not just to Wittgenstein and Augustine but to Thoreau that leads Cavell back to thoughts of America and specifically to the thought that the public language of America is inadequate to the promise that is implied in its name. Finally, there is the thought that philosophy, as realized in Wittgenstein at least, requires the kind of self-criticism that moves the education of grownups.

Keywords: Philosophy as education; Denial; Wittgenstein; Austin; Thoreau; America

Chapter.  2475 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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