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1 - Must We Mean What We Say? and Ordinary Language Philosophy

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

Must We Mean What We Say? is the first and only work in contemporary thought to carry the project of ordinary language philosophy through to its end. It thereby confronts and overcomes the harsh criticisms of ordinary language philosophy that began with Gellner’s attack in 1959, belying repeated claims that the tradition is “dead.” MWM shows that ordinary language philosophy is more than ever alive and relevant. Cavell’s emphasis on the “voice of the ordinary” responds to the risk of skepticism, that loss of or distancing from the world that film also explores (see The World Viewed). In Must We Mean What We Say?, Cavell offers us new ways to explore the relation between an individual speaker and her community, the possibility of revolution in philosophy, and the sense in which our relation to our own words figures our relations to ourselves: the question of self-knowledge and voice.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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