My aim in this chapter is to show that Cavell's modernist Wittgenstein is too Cavellian. Wittgenstein's philosophy is not – as Cavell claims it is – permeated with (1) a nostalgia for metaphysics; (2) a dissatisfaction with language and criteria; (3) an ineluctable scepticism; all prompting (4) Existential devastation and angst. I will conclude that Cavell reads his own preoccupations into Wittgenstein and that this prevents him from seeing that Wittgenstein's certainty logically dismisses scepticism. Cavell's Wittgenstein is still a groundbreaking philosopher, but seen through Cavell's modernist glass darkly, his philosophy breeds disappointment, alienation and scepticism where it, in fact, sows enlightenment, community and certainty.
|Title of host publication||Understanding Wittgenstein, Understanding Modernism|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publication status||Published - 26 Jan 2017|
- ordinary language