By Stanley Cavell
This paintings is an advent to the lifetime of philosophy within the usa, as Emerson as soon as lived it, in all its topographical ambiguity.
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Additional resources for A Pitch of Philosophy: Autobiographical Exercises (The Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures)
To do or say aught to conciliate one, is the healthy attitude of human nature. . Independent, irresponsible, looking out from his corner on such people and facts as pass by, he tries and sentences them on their merits, in the swift, summary way of boys, as good, bad, interesting, silly, eloquent, troublesome.... But the man is as it were clapped into jail by his consciousness. As soon as he has once acted or spoken with eclat he is a committed person, watched by the sympathy or by the hatred of hundreds, whose affections must now enter into his account.
The punchline I have set up is not my property, but you are not to preempt it. My turn is not my property, but you are not to take it. " The puzzle for me-I cannot be the first to feel it-is how blind Isaac decides between the two forms of signature, by hand and by voice. Is he choosing the wielder of force over the possessor of words as the route of legitimacy? This hurts me. Is it that I can hardly bear the idea that the right to an A PITCH OF PHILOSOPHY inheritance is not given by reasons? Yet it is precisely when reasons are exhausted that authority is inclined to say, "This is simply what I do:' namely, wait for the inheritance to be taken, overtaking the giving, treasonously.
Since I grew up in a couple of provincial capitals-Atlanta, Georgia, roughly from the mid-1920'S to the mid-1930'S, and in Sacramento, California, on and off from then to the early 1940's-it is perhaps not surprising that my mother, the product of a musical family, was not merely a very good, professional pianist, but that she was the best pianist I had heard until I went to college at Berkeley to major in music and learned, from the high musical culture of the yet larger provincial region of San Francisco, not to my complete provincial surprise, that there were other virtuosi living lives of local fame.