Title

Cavell and the Endless Mourning of Skepticism

Publication Title

Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities

Publication Date

12-2004

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1080/0969725042000307637

Keywords

skepticism, agnosticism, modernism (Christian theology), belief and doubt, semantics (philosophy)

Disciplines

Epistemology | Philosophy | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Abstract

The article discusses Stanley Cavell and his concept of skepticism. Stanley Cavell describes one of the fundamental lessons of skepticism, as the familiar challenge to the possibility of certainty or knowledge that emerges as a methodological tendency in modern thought. In elucidating the historical and continuing impulse to doubt in a range of examples drawn from philosophy, literature, and cinema, Cavell argues that skepticism reveals the loss of transcendental necessity, the kind of metaphysical guarantee that traditionally grounded linguistic meaning in a one-to-one correspondence between words and the objects. For Cavell, modernity appears as an epoch where transcendental securities have irretrievably disappeared.

Publisher

Routledge

Publisher Location

London, England


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