© 2018

Stanley Cavell on Aesthetic Understanding

  • Garry L. Hagberg

Part of the Philosophers in Depth book series (PID)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Understanding Persons Through Film

  3. Shakespeare, Opera, and Philosophical Interpretation

  4. Aesthetic Understanding and Moral Life

  5. Reading Fiction and Literary Understanding

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 357-365

About this book


This book investigates the scope and significance of Stanley Cavell’s lifelong and lasting contribution to aesthetic understanding. Focusing on various strands of the rich body of Cavell’s philosophical work, the authors explore connections between his wide-ranging writings on literature, music, film, opera, autobiography, Wittgenstein, and Austin to contemporary currents in aesthetic thinking. Most centrally, the writings brought together here from an international team of senior, mid-career, and emerging scholars, explore the illuminating power of Cavell’s work for our deeper and richer comprehension of the intricate relations between aesthetic and ethical understanding. The chapters show what aesthetic understanding consists of, how such understanding might be articulated in the tradition of Cavell following Wittgenstein and J. L. Austin, and why this mode of human understanding is particularly important. At a time of quickening interest in Cavell and the tradition of which he is a central part and present-day leading exponent, this book offers insight into the deepest contributions of a major American philosopher and the profound role that aesthetic experience can play in the humane understanding of persons, society, and culture. 


aesthetics ethics philosophy interdisciplinary literature film

Editors and affiliations

  • Garry L. Hagberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Bard CollegeAnnandale-on-Hudson, NYUSA

About the editors

Garry L. Hagberg is the James H. Ottaway Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at Bard College, USA. Previous publications include Art as Language: Wittgenstein, Meaning, and Aesthetic Theory, Meaning and Interpretation: Wittgenstein, Henry James, and Literary Knowledge (1998), and Describing Ourselves: Wittgenstein and Autobiographical Consciousness (2008). He has contributed to various journals, collections, and reference works, and is Editor of the journal Philosophy and Literature. He also recently edited Wittgenstein on Aesthetic Understanding (Palgrave, 2017) for the Philosophers in Depth book series, and is presently writing a new book on the contribution literary experience makes to the formation of self and sensibility, Living in Words: Literature, Autobiographical Language, and the Composition of Selfhood (forthcoming).

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Stanley Cavell on Aesthetic Understanding
  • Editors Garry L. Hagberg
  • Series Title Philosophers in Depth
  • Series Abbreviated Title Philosophers in Depth
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-97465-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-07360-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-97466-8
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIX, 365
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Aesthetics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site