Sounding the Abyss

Sounding the Abyss : Readings Between Cavell and Derrida

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Motivated by an interest in the long-standing divisions between analytic and Continental philosophy author Roger V. Bell engages in an extensive reading of Cavell's work from the position of his differences with Derrida. As Derrida himself has not responded (at least in writing) to Cavell's comments and criticism, the opportunity is rife for examining this latent debate to gain greater insight into the relationship between their work Bell investigates Cavell and Derrida's development within the American philosophical scene. The critique of Cavell's sense of American inheritance serves as a way to momentarily direct the reader away from the abyss and toward the westward view intrinsic to the 19th century bearings Cavell takes with Emerson and Thoreau. This refiguring of Cavell's notion of inheritance is then brought alongside important features of Derrida's deconstruction and the question of its reception in America. By extending Cavell's thought in this manner - through its meeting with Derrida - broader concerns are opened up with regard to both philosopher's work. In Derrida's case, deconstruction - especially its American reception - gets situated in the emerging post-poststructuralist rubrics of film theory, cultural criticism, postcolonialism, and multiculturalism. Taking in an incredible range of sources and cultural and intellectual contexts Roger Bell has produced an important and original more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 149.9 x 231.1 x 27.9mm | 544.32g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739106708
  • 9780739106709

About Roger V. Bell

Roger Bell is Professor of Philosophy at Sonoma State more

Review quote

First, [Bell] does a masterful job of working to bring texts of Cavell and Derrida into Conversation with one another at a deep and intimate level, tracing their (often uncanny) affinities and differences figured in Bell's recurrent fantasy that they are writing on each others texts... Second, the readings...are, in my view, often brilliant, also often surprising, and in almost all cases fruitfully open new perspectives and questions with which one wants to return... -- Steven G. Affeldt, Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies, University of Notre Dame and Visiting Professor, Graduate Faculty of Philosophy, New Schooshow more

Table of contents

1 Introduction: Illustrating the Differences: Mark Tansey's Derrida Queries DeMan Chapter 2 Reading Cavell's Origins for American Philosophy from the Margins of Nineteenth-Century Literature of the Pacific Chapter 3 Cavell Voices His Differences with Derrida's Deconstruction: Across Viewings of Cukor's Gaslight Chapter 4 Autobiographically It Comes Down to Austin: Cavell Puts an Ear to Sec Chapter 5 Opera, Postcolonial Identities, and Closing Philosophy's Umbrellas 6 Appendix: Rorty on Derrida: A Discourse of Simulated Moderationshow more