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ERIC Number: EJ836722
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8249
Ourselves in Translation: Stanley Cavell and Philosophy as Autobiography
Saito, Naoko
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v43 n2 p253-267 May 2009
This paper offers a different approach to writing about oneself--Stanley Cavell's idea of philosophy as autobiography. In Cavell's understanding, the acknowledgement of the partiality of the self is an essential condition for achieving the universal. In the apparently paradoxical combination of the "philosophical" (which is traditionally connected with a search for the objective and the universal) and the "autobiographical" (which is conventionally associated with the subjective and the personal), Cavell shows us a way of focusing on the self and yet always transcending the self. The task requires, however, a reconstruction of the notions of philosophy and autobiography, and at the same time the destabilising of our conceptions of self and language. Cavell seeks to achieve this through the idea of finding one's voice, understood as an autobiographical exercise. This necessitates both negotiation of the inheritance from the past and innovation for the future, initiation into the language community and deviation from it. What this amounts to, in ways that the paper seeks to explain, is a process of the self and language in translation. This is a sense of "translation" that is broader than the conventional understanding of the term. Such a conception can, it is argued, exercise a therapeutic effect on the self, destabilising the myth of self-identity. The implications of this account for the contemporary vogue for narrative in educational research, as well as for classroom practice, are considered.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A