"This book changed philosophy. When it was originally published it was both exhilirating and astonishing - for its daring disregard of disciplinary boundaries....No reader of Cavell should be surprised to observe that, now as then, new forms of reductionism, scientism, and sheer flight prove appealing to those for whom a complex human understanding is more than their hearts can bear." Martha Nussbaum, author of Upheavals of Thought
"This book is still the best introduction to the wide-ranging thoughts and the powerful imagination of one of America's most distinguished men of letters. In it, Cavell weaves together Wittgenstein's reactions fo philosophical skepticism with Shakespeare's descriptions of human needs, and J.L. Austin's appeals to 'the ordinary' with reflections on how art lets us see familiar objects anew. No one since William James has been so successful at re-humanizing philosophy - at rescuing that academic discipline from hyperprofessional self-absorption." Richard Rorty, author of Contingency, Irony and Solidarity
Reissued with a new preface to sit alongside the volume on Stanley Cavell in Contemporary Philosophy in Focus this famous collection of essays covers a remarkably wide range of philosophical issues (there are essays on Wittgenstein, Austin, Kierkegaard, and the philosophy of language) and extends beyond philosophy into discussions of music and drama.