Cavell Bibliography (Primary Works)

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Cavell Bibliography: Primary Works


The Claim to Rationality: Knowledge and the Basis of Morality (Ph.D. Dissertation, 1961)

Must We Mean What We Say? A Book of Essays (New York: Charles Scriber’s Sons, 1969; Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1977; updated version, 2002)

The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film (New York: The Viking Press, 1971; New York: Penguin, 1977)

The Senses of Walden (New York: The Viking Press, 1972) 

The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979; Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1982)

The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film (enlarged edition), including new: “Foreword to the Enlarged Edition” and “More of The World Viewed” (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1979)

The Senses of Walden: An Expanded Edition, including new: “Thinking of Emerson” and “An Emerson Mood” (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1981; Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1992)

Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1981)

Themes Out of School: Effects and Causes (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1984; Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1988)

Disowning Knowledge: In Six Plays of Shakespeare (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987; updated 2003 to Disowning Knowledge: In Seven Plays of Shakespeare)

In Quest of the Ordinary: Lines of Skepticism and Romanticism (Chicago: Chicago Univ. Press, 1988)

This New Yet Unapproachable America: Lectures after Emerson after Wittgenstein (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1989)

Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome: The Constitution of Emersonian Perfectionism (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1990)

A Pitch of Philosophy: Autobiographical Exercises (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1994)

Philosophical Passages: Wittgenstein, Emerson, Austin, Derrida (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995)

Contesting Tears: The Hollywood Melodrama of the Unknown Woman (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1996)

The Cavell Reader, ed. Stephen Mulhall (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996)

Emerson’s Transcendental Etudes (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 2003)

Cities of Words: Pedagogical Letters on a Register of the Moral Life (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 2005)

Cavell on Film, William Rothman, ed. (Albany: SUNY Press, 2005)

Philosophy The Day After Tomorrow (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 2006)

Little Did I Know: Excerpts from Memory (Palo Alto: Stanford Univ. Press, October 2010)


(Note: for now, we’ve chosen not to list some of the many originally stand-alone essays that Cavell has since reprinted in one of the books listed above; they will be added to this list in the future)

With Alexander Sesonske, “Logical Empiricism and Pragmatism in Ethics,” The Journal of Philosophy 48 (4 January 1951): 5-17.

With Alexander Sesonske, “Moral Theory, Ethical Judgments and Empricism,” Mind 61.244 (October 1952): 543-63.

“Some Reflections on the Ontology of Film,” New American Review 12 (1971): 140-59.

On Makavejev on Bergman,” Critical Inquiry Vol. 6, No. 2 (Winter 1979): 305-30.

Pursuits of Happiness: A Reading of The Lady Eve,” New Literary History 10.3 (Spring 1979): 581-601.

Thinking of Emerson,” New Literary History 11.1 (Autumn 1079): 167-76.

Epistemology and Tragedy: A Reading of Othello,” Daedalus 108.3 (Summer 1979): 27-43.

Knowledge as Transgression: Mostly a Reading of It Happened One Night,” Daedalus 109.2 (Spring 1980): 147-75.

A Reply to John Hollander,” Critical Inquiry 6.4 (Summer 1980): 589-91.

North by Northwest,” Critical Inquiry 7.4 (Summer 1981): 152-73.

Politics as Opposed to What?Critical Inquiry 9.1 (September 1982): 157-78.

The Fact of Television,” Daedalus 111.4 (Fall 1982): 75-96.

“The Thought of Movies,” The Yale Review 72.2 (Winter 1983): 181-200.

Who does the wolf love?’ Reading Coriolanus,Representations no. 3 (Summer 1983): 1-20.

“What Photography Calls Thinking,” Raritan 4.4 (Spring 1985): 1-21. Reprinted in Raritan Reading, ed. Richard Poirier, pp. 47-65 (New Brunswick: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1990)

The Division of Talent,” Critical Inquiry 11.4 (June 1985): 519-38.

“A Reply to Robert Mankin on The Claim of Reason,” Salmagundi 67 (Summer 1985): 90-6.

“Being Odd, Getting Even: Threats to Individuality,” Salmagundi 67 (Summer 1985): 97-128.

“A Capra Moment,” Humanities 6.4 (August 1985): 3-7.

“Hope Against Hope,” The American Poetry Review 15.1 (January-February 1986): 9-13.

Observations on Art and Science,” Daedalus 115.3 (Summer 1986): 171-89.

“The Fantastic of Philosophy,” The American Poetry Review 15.3 (May-June 1986): 45-7.

Freud and Philosophy: A Fragment,” Critical Inquiry 13.2 (Winter 1987): 386-93.

“Notes after Austin,” The Yale Review 76.3 (Spring 1987): 313-22.

“Declining Decline: Wittgenstein as a Philosopher of Culture,” Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy and the Social Sciences 31.3 (Spring 1988): 253-64.

“Two Cheers for Romance,” in Passionate Attachments: Thinking about Love, eds. Willard Gaylin and Ethel Persons, pp. 85-100 (New York: The Free Press, 1988)

“Naughty Orators: Negation of Voice in Gaslight,” in Languages of the Unsayable: The Play of Negativity in Literature and Literary Theory, eds. Sanford Budick and Wolfgang Iser, pp. 340-77 (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1989).

Who Disappoints Whom?Critical Inquiry 15.3 (Spring 1989): 606-10.

Postscript (1989): To Whom It May Concern,” Critical Inquiry 16.2 (Winter 1990): 248-89.

Ugly Duckling, Funny Butterfly: Bette Davis and Now, Voyager,” Critical Inquiry 16.2 (Winter 1990): 248-89.

In “Editorial Notes,” Critical Inquiry 17.1 (Fall 1990): 238-44. A response to Tania Modleski.

Aversive Thinking: Emersonian Representations in Heidegger and Nietzsche,” New Literary History 22.1 (1991): 129-60.

“The Idea of Home,” Social Research 58.1 (Spring 1991): 9-10.

“In the Meantime: Authority, Tradition, and the Future of the Discipines,” The Yale Journal of Criticism 5.2 (Spring 1992): 229-37.

“Macbeth Apalled (I),” Raritan 12.2 (Fall 1992): 1-15.

“Macbeth Appalled (II),” Raritan, 12.3 (Winter 1993): 1-15.

“Nothing Goes Without Saying: Stanley Cavell Reads the Marx Brothers,” London Review of Books 16.1 (January 6, 1994).

What is the Emersonian Event? A Comment on Kateb’s Emerson,” New Literary History 25.4 (Autumn 1994): 951-8.

Comments on Veena Das’s Essay ‘Language and Body: Transactions in the Construction of Pain’,” Daedalus 125.1 (1996): 93-8.

Something Out of the Ordinary,” The Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association (1997), pp. 23-37.

Benjamin and Wittgenstein: Signals and Affinities,” Critical Inquiry 25.3 (Winter 1999): 235-46.

“Night and Day: Heidegger and Thoreau,” in Appropriating Heidegger, eds. James E Faulconer and Mark A. Wrathall (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000).

Beginning to Read Barbara Cassin,” Hypatia 15.4 (2000): 99-101.

“Preface,” Robert Warshow’s The Immediate Experience: Movies, Comics, Theatre, and Other Aspects of Popular Culture (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP, 2002).

Foreword,” for Shoshana Felman, The Scandal of the Speaking Body: Don Juan with J.L. Austin, or Seduction in Two Languages (Stanford: Stanford UP, 2002). Reprinted in The Claims of Literature: A Shoshana Felman Reader, ed. by Emily Sun, Eyal Peretz, and Ulrich Baer (New York: Fordham University Press, 2007).

“The World as Things: Collecting Thoughts on Collecting,” in Yves-Alain Bois and Bernard Blistene, eds., Rendezvous (New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2003).

“Departures,” in Frederic Brenner, Diaspora: Homelands in Exile, 2 Vols. (New York: Harper Collins, 2003).

Excerpts from Memory,” Critical Inquiry 32.4 (Summer 2006): 767-811.

“Foreword,” to Veena Das, Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006).

Crossing Paths,” in Action, Art, History: Engagements with Arthur C. Danto, eds. Daniel Herwitz and Michael Kelly (New York: Columbia UP, 2007). Followed by a response from Danto.

“Companionable Thinking,” in Alice Crary, ed., Wittgenstein and the Moral Life: Essays in Honor of Cora Diamond (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007); reprinted in Philosophy and Animal Life, ed. Cary Wolfe (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 2008).

“Pourquoi les films comptent-ils? Discussion entre Stanley Cavell et Arnaud Desplechin,” Esprit, August-September 2008, pp. 208-219. (in French)

“The Touch of Words,” in William Day and Victor Krebs, eds., Seeing Wittgenstein Anew (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010), pp. 81-98.

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