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11 - On Cavell’s “Kierkegaard’s On Authority and Revelation” – with Constant Reference to Austen

from Part III - Tragedy and the Self

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

What is it to forget a concept, confuse one, or lose one? These are familiar terms of criticism for Kierkegaard, but they can seem strangely otiose or themselves confused. In his essay, Cavell elucidates these terms, their critical purport in Kierkegaard’s practice, and he seeks to offer an assessment of that practice – in particular, to assess whether the practice is itself philosophical. Cavell’s assessment leads him to discuss (early in the essay) the connection between the religious and the psychological and (late) the connection between the aesthetic and the psychological. Jolley reassesses Cavell’s assessment: he refocuses on the forgetting, confusing, or losing of concepts, and on the use of such terms of criticism – in Kierkegaard’s specifically, but also more generally in many philosophical practices that understand themselves as at once logical and dialectical. E.g., What is the difference, for Kierkegaard, between qualitative dialectic and quantitative? Is the making of such a distinction an application, a moment, of one or the other dialectic, and if so, what are the consequences of such self-application? Along the way, Jolley revisits Cavell’s understanding of the connection between the religious and the psychological, and the aesthetic and the psychological.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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