Part personal reminiscence and part scholarly disquisition, this article discusses some ways in which Stanley Cavell's work has shaped my own thinking and composing. I begin by suggesting that Cavell's overarching goal is to “redeem” traditional philosophy (and secondarily, avant-garde art) from its more stringent critics. I then explain how my early work, while sharing Cavell's general aims, diverges from his specific claims. This involves considering some ways in which false beliefs can contribute to human flourishing. I then explore general objections to redemptive narratives of this sort. The essay ends with a brief discussion of Cavell's response to skepticism, in which I propose that philosophy and art might be farther apart than Cavell believes.
Dmitri Tymoczko; Dear Stanley. Journal of Music Theory 1 April 2010; 54 (1): 5–23. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00222909-2010-008
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