7th Ludwig Wittgenstein Summer School 2015 (Cora Diamond, James Conant): Applications due March 30

logo_newThis year’s Ludwig Wittgenstein Summer School (for university students in philosophy) will be held in Kirchberg, Austria August 5-8 and will be co-taught by Cora Diamond and Jim Conant. The topic this year is Wittgenstein on Following a Rule: Philosophical Investigations, Sections 185-242. See below for more information. The deadline for applications is March 30.

7th Ludwig Wittgenstein Summer School 2015 (Cora Diamond, James Conant)

5th – 8th of August 2015 in Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria

Wittgenstein on Following a Rule:
Philosophical Investigations,
Sections 185-242

With: Cora Diamond (Charlottesville) and James Conant (Chicago)

Scientific Organization and Direction: Volker A. Munz (Klagenfurt)

You can download the poster with this link.

Maximum number of participants: 40
Application deadline (registration and payment): 30 March 2015 (Later applications can unfortunately not be taken into account.)
Information concerning acceptance/non-acceptance: 30 April 2015 (Full reimbursement in case of non-acceptance)

Accommodation will be organized by the ALWS and is located just opposite the conference centre. Private booking possible.

Summer school participants are invited to join the 38th International Wittgenstein Symposium: Realism – Relativism – Constructivism. Kirchberg am Wechsel,
9 – 15 of August 2015 at reduced fees.

220 Euro including conference participation (180 Euro for ALWS members)
180 Euro summer school only (150 Euro for ALWS members).
Summer school fees can be reimbursed only until 15 June 2015 (minus 20 Euro handling charge).
(Refunding of later cancellation: 110 Euro / 90 Euro; minus 20 Euro handling charge)

Payment of the fees includes:
* Free board and lodging during the summer school (dormitory)
* Certificate of participation (working load in ECTS points)

Required qualifications: The summer school is addressed to advanced university students in philosophy. Elementary knowledge of Wittgenstein’s philosophy is desirable. Applicants are asked to send a transcript record and a 3-page preparatory essay on a selected subject of Philosophical Investigations, Sections 185-242

Further details concerning preparation (reading list), programme, etc. will be announced.

Teaching language: English

For registration please click here to get the registration form.

Please send your application documents to:
Volker A. Munz
Department of Philosophy
Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
Universitaetsstrasse 65-67
Email. Volker.Munz@aau.at

Coming Soon: Excursions with Thoreau by Ed Mooney (Now Available for Pre-Order)

9781501305665Out later this year from Bloomsbury: Edward F. Mooney’s Excursions with Thoreau: Philosophy, Poetry, Religion. Anyone who’s read Ed’s essays—whether on Kierkegaard, Cavell, Henry Bugbee, or personal philosophy generally—knows what a lyrical thinker and writer Ed is. I’m sure I’m not alone in looking forward to reading this newest batch of essays on Thoreau.


Excursions with Thoreau is a major new exploration of Thoreau’s writing and thought that is philosophical yet sensitive to the literary and religious.

Edward F. Mooney’s excursions through passages from Walden, Cape Cod, and his late essay “Walking” reveal Thoreau as a miraculous writer, artist, and religious adept. Of course Thoreau remains the familiar political activist and environmental philosopher, but in these fifteen excursions we discover new terrain. Among the notable themes that emerge are Thoreau’s grappling with underlying affliction; his pursuit of wonder as ameliorating affliction; his use of the enigmatic image of “a child of the mist”; his exalting “sympathy with intelligence” over plain knowledge; and his preferring “befitting reverie”-not argument-as the way to be carried to better, cleaner perceptions of reality.

Mooney’s aim is bring alive Thoreau’s moments of reverie and insight, and to frame his philosophy as poetic and episodic rather than discursive and systematic.

Table Of Contents

1. Overture
2. Celebration and Lamentation
3. Sympathy with Intelligence
4. Concord Reflections
5. Transforming Perception
6. Ethics and the Wild
7. Expressive Bones
8. Child of the Mist
9. Deaths and Rebirths
10. Affliction and Affinity
11. John Brown
12. Souls in Infinite Culture
13. Currents of Time
14. Grounding Poetry
15. Face of the River
Closing Thoughts
Closing Images, Reveries, Prayers
Closing Passions
Chronology, Works Cited, Credits

New Look—Feedback Welcome!

Dear All—

As you’ve no doubt noticed, OLP&Lit online is experimenting with a new look. My hope is that the thicker fonts and higher contrast throughout will make the site that much more readable. Also, this design should translate across devices slightly better than the previous one did. I trust you’ll let me know if I’m wrong on either count.

FYI: The patron goldfinch you find at the top of the page was painted by Angela Moulton. You can tell it’s a goldfinch by the shape of its head. (!)

Do let me know what you think (about this or anything else site related).



NDPR: Peter Dula Reviews Espen Dahl’s Recent Book

Peter Dula recently reviewed Espen Dahl’s Stanley Cavell, Religion, and Continental Philosophy for NDPR. The review begins:

For a long time, Stanley Cavell was the least read of his generation of American philosophical greats. Richard Rorty, Donald Davidson, John Rawls, Hilary Putnam, Arthur Danto and Thomas Kuhn all became famous (as famous as philosophers can be) while Cavell remained relatively obscure for most of his career. That has changed decisively since the early 2000s. In the last five years alone, almost 10 monographs have appeared on his work. Most of these are by literature professors, almost none, sadly, are by philosophers, and a few are by theologians and scholars of religion. The newest addition to the latter is Espen Dahl’s impressive book, one that lives up to every aspect of its title. Dahl has a comprehensive grasp on Cavell’s thought, is clearly a gifted theologian, and manages to place Cavell in conversation with continental thought as productively as anyone before him. Moreover, he does so in prose that is a model of clarity and brevity. Just see his overview of Cavell’s “ordinary” (7-13), which manages to be a frankly stunning six page summary of Cavell’s work as a whole.

The theologian drawn to Cavell has to first get past those early readings that understood Cavell as a secular and atheist philosopher, whether, like Richard Eldridge, they approve of his atheism or, like Judith Tonning and the early Stephen Mulhall, they disapprove. That reading flattens the complexity and ambivalence of Cavell’s many remarks on religion. Dahl follows an alternative line of thought, which argues for Cavell’s openness to religious and theological concerns. [Click here to continue reading]

Ethics of Alterity, Confrontation and Responsibility in 19th- to 21st-Century British Literature – new volume edited by Christine Reynier and Jean-Michel Ganteau

Christine Reynier and Jean-Michel Ganteau (University Paul Valéry – Montpellier III) have edited over the last few years  a number of wonderful volumes of essays that might be of interest to scholars working at the intersection of literature, philosophy, and the arts: Impersonality and Emotion in Twentieth-Century British Literature (PULM, 2005), Impersonality and Emotion in Twentieth-Century British Arts (PULM, 2007), Autonomy and Commitment in Twentieth-Century British Literature (PULM, 2010), and Autonomy and Commitment in Twentieth-Century British Arts (PULM, 2012). The last in this series was published last year, also by Presses Universitaires de la Méditerranée:

“Over the last few decades, in the wake of the ‘Ethical Turn’, contemporary literature has been examined through the prism of the ethics of alterity. Yet, this may not be consis­tently the case with Victorian and Modernist literature, since relatively few of the authors of those periods have elicited such critical and ­theoretical scrutiny.

The articles in this volume set off to re-read Victorian and Modernist literature in the light of the ethics of alterity and investigate whether the post-Auschwitz, contemporary period breaks away from or favours lines of continuity with the productions of the earlier era. It also strives to address works which do not belong to the canon, focusing alternately on great authors and less known artists, on what has been termed ‘minor’ texts or genres that are less visible than the novel. Approaching literature by examining the relations between ethics and aesthetics, even while adopting an ethical approach, helps the authors in this volume contribute to revising the contemporary, Modernist and Victorian canon in English Literature.”

For the table of contents, please visit the publisher’s page.


New Book: Autonomy after Auschwitz: Adorno, German Idealism, and Modernity by Martin Shuster

Congratulations to Martin Shuster! His first book, Autonomy After Auschwitz: Adorno, German Idealism, and Modernity is hot off the University of Chicago Press.


A bit about the book (this from the publisher’s page):

Ever since Kant and Hegel, the notion of autonomy—the idea that we are beholden to no law except one we impose upon ourselves—has been considered the truest philosophical expression of human freedom. But could our commitment to autonomy, as Theodor Adorno asked, be related to the extreme evils that we have witnessed in modernity? In Autonomy after Auschwitz, Martin Shuster explores this difficult question with astonishing theoretical acumen, examining the precise ways autonomy can lead us down a path of evil and how it might be prevented from doing so.

Shuster uncovers dangers in the notion of autonomy as it was originally conceived by Kant. Putting Adorno into dialogue with a range of European philosophers, notably Kant, Hegel, Horkheimer, and Habermas—as well as with a variety of contemporary Anglo-American thinkers such as Richard Rorty, Stanley Cavell, John McDowell, and Robert Pippin—he illuminates Adorno’s important revisions to this fraught concept and how his different understanding of autonomous agency, fully articulated, might open up new and positive social and political possibilities. Altogether,Autonomy after Auschwitz is a meditation on modern evil and human agency, one that demonstrates the tremendous ethical stakes at the heart of philosophy. 

New Issue: Journal of Aesthetic Education

Screen Shot 2013-06-08 at 1.44.02 PMRoughly this time last year we advertised a symposium—Perfectionism and Education: Kant and Cavell on Ethics and Aesthetics in Societytaking place in Stockholm. The papers that came out of that symposium have since been published as special issue in the Journal of Aesthetic Education. Below you’ll find the introduction, as well as the table of contents with links to each of the articles. (Thanks to Viktor Johansson for bringing this to my attention!)

Introduction: Perfectionism and Education—Kant and Cavell on Ethics and Aesthetics in Society 1-4, Klas Roth, Martin Gustafsson, Viktor Johansson
Immanuel Kant’s conception of ethics and aesthetics, including his philosophy of judgment and practical knowledge, are widely discussed today among scholars in various fields: philosophy, political science, aesthetics, educational science, and others. His ideas continue to inspire and encourage an ongoing interdisciplinary dialogue, leading to an increasing awareness of the interdependence between societies and people and a clearer sense of the challenges we face in cultivating ourselves as moral beings.
Early on in his career, Cavell began to recognize the strong connection between Kant’s aesthetics (as it finds its expression in the Critique of the Power of Judgment) and the claims of ordinary language philosophy. In this connection, he also found a fruitful way of dealing with philosophical problems in response to modern art and music. Commentators have found in Cavell’s work powerful criticisms of, and novel support for, a Kantian aesthetics. Cavell was also one of the first to describe Wittgenstein as working within a Kantian framework.
In both Kant’s and Cavell’s aesthetics, moral practice and education play an absolutely central role. Both philosophers see art as crucial to moral education, in its capacity to cultivate and expand our moral experience. It is, therefore, surprising how little has been written on their contribution to education, in particular, on how their views on the relation between ethics and aesthetics matter to education and contemporary educational theory.
The aim of this collection of papers is to discuss the value, significance, and relevance of Kant’s and Cavell’s conceptions of education, ethics, and aesthetics in relation to contemporary educational theory. In particular, Kant’s and Cavell’s conceptions of moral perfectionism and education are in focus. The first contribution is an original paper by Paul Guyer (Brown University), one of the world’s leading scholars on Kant and a student of Cavell’s. Guyer has written on almost every aspect of Kant’s philosophy, including education, and he has developed novel and highly influential interpretations throughout his academic career.
Guyer’s paper serves as the starting point for the other contributions, written by (in order of appearance) Klas Roth (Stockholm university), Pradeep Dillon (University of Illinois at urbana-Champaign), Viktor Johansson (Stockholm university), Richard Eldridge (Swarthmore College), Alice Crary (New School for Social Research), Martin Gustafsson (Åbo Akademi University), and Timothy Gould (Metropolitan State University).
Examples of Perfectionism 5-27, Paul Guyer
Making Ourselves Intelligible—Rendering Ourselves Efficacious and Autonomous, without Fixed Ends 28-40, Klas Roth
Examples of Moral Perfectionism from a Global Perspective 41-57, Pradeep A. Dhillon
Perfectionist Philosophy as a (an Untaken) Way of Life 58-72, Viktor Johansson
Kant, Cavell, and the Circumstances of Philosophy 73-86, Richard Eldridge
A Radical Perfectionist: Revisiting Cavell in the Light of Kant 87-98, Alice Crary
What is Cavellian Perfectionism? 99-110, Martin Gustafsson
Seven Types of Unintelligibility: Guyer on Cavell on Making Sense of Yourself 111-126, Timothy Gould
Replies to Comments127-142, Paul Guyer

Two Essays of Interest

Of late I’ve had the pleasure of corresponding with Benjamin Mangrum, a PhD student in English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina and founding editor of Ethos, a digital peer-reviewed journal devoted to arts, humanities, and public ethics. I’ll have more to say about Ethos by and by, but for now I’d like to draw your attention to Mangrum’s marvelous article, “Bourdieu, Cavell, and the Politics of Aesthetic Value,” available for advance access through Literature and Theology.

Mangrum’s abstract reads as follows:

Bourdieu’s critique of aesthetic value has had significant intellectual purchase in its controversial assertion that critical judgments regarding culture and aesthetics necessarily occur in an arena of social inequality and symbolic distinction. I explore a specific set of problems in Bourdieu’s theory of aesthetics through the work of Stanley Cavell, drawing on the latter’s investigation of the natural/conventional binary and what I describe as a theory of action (as opposed to a theory of meaning) based upon his reading of Ludwig Wittgenstein. The comparison of Bourdieu and Cavell yields a more nuanced account of aesthetic judgments, the politics of criticism, and the production of value or meaning.

And then Nat Hansen (Philosophy faculty at the University of Reading) has an essay out in the most recent issue of Philosophy Compass titled “Contemporary Ordinary Language Philosophy,” which promises both a helpful overview of OLP’s past-to-present and a hopeful glance at OLP’s future.

Hansen’s abstract reads:

There is a widespread assumption that ordinary language philosophy was killed off sometime in the 1960s or 70s by a combination of Gricean pragmatics and the rapid development of systematic semantic theory.1 Contrary to that widespread assumption, however, contemporary versions of ordinary language philosophy are alive and flourishing but going by various aliases – in particular (some versions of) ‘contextualism’ and (some versions of) ‘experimental philosophy’. And a growing group of contemporary philosophers are explicitly embracing the title as well as the methods of ordinary language philosophy and arguing that it has been unfairly maligned and was never decisively refuted. In this overview, I will outline the main projects and arguments employed by contemporary ordinary language philosophers and make the case that updated versions of the arguments made by ordinary language philosophers in the middle of the 20th century are attracting renewed attention.

Happy reading! CL

Shakespeare & Philosophy Conference (Sept. 12th and 13th, 2014) – University of Hertfordshire

Titled Shakespeare: The Philosopher, this conference will be devoted to exploring Shakespeare’s contribution to philosophy. The event will take place at the University of Hertfordshire inShakespeare_Portrait_Comparisons_2 England.

‘Shakespeare’s work is rich in philosophical themes, addressing questions in areas including metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of mind, and social and political philosophy. Meanwhile, issues concerning how Shakespeare’s works manage to represent what they do are ripe for consideration in aesthetics, with the plays raising questions about the nature of representation, fiction, interpretation, literature and history, tragedy and comedy. Shakespeare: The Philosopher aims to explore the importance of philosophy in understanding Shakespeare, and the importance of Shakespeare to issues in philosophy.’


Friday 12th September

10:00-11:00 Greg Currie (York) Title: tbc

11:00-12:00 Katie Brennan (Temple University) ‘Tragic Knowledge: Reading Nietzsche through Shakespeare’

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:00-14:00 Miranda Anderson (Edinburgh) ‘Extending the Self in Shakespeare’

14:00-15:00 Sophie Battell (Cardiff) ‘Shakespeare, Derrida, and Cosmopolitanism’

15:00-15:30 Break

15:30-16:30 Derek Matravers (Open University) ‘The History Plays: Fact or Fiction?’

16:30-17:30 Christopher Norris (Cardiff) ‘Ripeness Is All: Wittgenstein and Shakespeare’

Saturday 13th September

09:00-10:00 Tzachi Zamir (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) ‘Literary Achievement and Moral Growth’

10:00-11:00 Owen Anderson (Princeton & Arizona State University) ‘Shakespeare and the Problem of Moral Evil’

11:00-11:30 Break

11:30-12:30 Craig Bourne (Hertfordshire) & Emily Caddick Bourne (Cambridge & Birkbeck, London) ‘Macbeth’s Prospects’

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30-14:30 Adele-France Jourdan (K.U. Leuven) ‘Grotesque Laughter: Coping with Violence in Titus Andronicus’

14:30-15:30 Max de Gaynesford (Reading) ‘Attuning Philosophy and Poetry: Speech Acts and The Sonnets’

The conference is open to all. Registration is free.

To register: shakespeareandphilosophy@gmail.com

For more information: http://www.bournecaddickbourne.com/#!shakespeare-and-philosophy/cjg9