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4 - Faces of the Ordinary

from Part I - Ordinary Language and Its Philosophy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 March 2022

Greg Chase
Affiliation:
College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts
Juliet Floyd
Affiliation:
Boston University
Sandra Laugier
Affiliation:
Université de Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne
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Summary

In "Aesthetic Problems of Modern Philosophy" Cavell draws together Wittgenstein’s philosophical procedures and the grammar of aesthetic judgment as Kant articulates it in the "Third Critique." Cavell primarily focuses on the universal voice. But there is an internal relation between the four different moments, and in particular, I would argue, between the second and the fourth, in which Kant shows aesthetic judgment to presuppose a common sense.

The relation between the universal voice and common sense is articulated in terms of a polarity of expression and ground. The expressive pole in aesthetic judgment is most evident in acts of criticism of art in which, judging with a universal voice, one takes oneself to be representative. But it is equally important that this expression be of a natural ground that underlies our common existence in language. The ground we stand on in judging is not a position, but rather a form of life in common. I end my chapter with an analysis of Cavell’s surprising turn to Wittgenstein’s Tractatus to illuminate this recognition of a ground of attunement, a common world that can be called my world, in and through our judgments of art.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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