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The Philosophy of Autobiography$
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Christopher Cowley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226267890

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226268088.001.0001

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Fraudulence, Obscurity, and Exposure

Fraudulence, Obscurity, and Exposure

The Autobiographical Anxieties of Stanley Cavell

(p.217) 10 Fraudulence, Obscurity, and Exposure
The Philosophy of Autobiography

Áine Mahon

University of Chicago Press

Stanley Cavell has always urged philosophical writing to follow lines of the subjective and the intimately revelatory. His work on philosophical scepticism, in particular, develops with a personal urgency markedly at odds with the usual standards and styles of contemporary Anglo-American philosophy. Áine Mahon follows these lines of the subjective from Cavell’s earliest work on scepticism and modernism to his 2010 memoir, Little Did I Know; Excerpts from Memory. Pushing further on the philosopher’s writerly risks and realisations, and distilling from his idiosyncratic oeuvre three guiding anxieties – “fraudulence”, “obscurity” and “exposure” – in point throughout Mahon’s discussion is Cavell’s very paradoxical combination of the autobiographical and the philosophical, of the personal and the transcendent.

Keywords:   Stanley Cavell, scepticism, fraudulence, obscurity, exposure 

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