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ERIC Number: EJ902034
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-2004
Crossing Borders within: Stanley Cavell and the Politics of Interpretation
Saito, Naoko; Standish, Paul
Educational Theory, v60 n4 p419-433 Aug 2010
The matter of crossing borders in the creation of democratic communities arises in ways that are pressing, both within the nation-state and on a global scale. Tensions between tendencies toward nationalism and the cosmopolitan call for global understanding touch the heart of ideas of democracy as beginning at home--at political, psychological, and existential levels. Yet in both orientations there is a certain consolidation of what John Dewey called the "we." In this essay Naoko Saito and Paul Standish address questions concerning the "I's" relation to the "we." It is through an exploration of the "apparently" apolitical approach of Stanley Cavell, through what he calls the "politics of interpretation," that Saito and Standish try to give substance to the critical destabilization of these terms and tensions that they believe to be necessary. Cavell's Wittgensteinian approach to skepticism and his account of the Emersonian sense of the tragic help to demonstrate the need to meet the political crisis of democracy with language of a more subtly critical kind. The antifoundationalism Cavell derives from these sources, with its concomitant notion of "philosophy as translation," provides us with a language that answers to the problems of the "we." This is, the authors conclude, a better formulation of, and a more hopeful response to, the challenge of crossing borders within. It touches despair but realizes within it the prophetic power of language. And it shows the political crisis in which democracy finds itself to be something that is not peculiar to our times but internal to the very nature of our (political) lives.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A