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Stanley Cavell and the Magic of Hollywood Films

Daniel Shaw

Hardback (Forthcoming)

An in-depth study of the philosophy of film of Stanley Cavell, and of his philosophical influences

  • Includes extensive quotes from Cavell’s writings
  • Analyses the influence of Existentialism on Cavell
  • Discusses how Emerson and Thoreau provide a distinctively American philosophical foundation for great Hollywood films

One of America’s most important contemporary thinkers, Stanley Cavell’s remarkable film philosophy proposed that the greatest Hollywood films reflect the struggle to become who we really are – a struggle that is foregrounded in the characteristically American theory of Emersonian perfectionism.

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  1. Defining The Magic: Why Stanley Cavell?
  2. Projecting Reality
  3. Stanley Cavell: Emersonian Individualist
  4. Cavell on Nietzsche: The Ascetic Ideal, Eternal Recurrence and "Higher Self"
  5. Comedies of Remarriage and the Transfiguration of the Commonplace
  6. How the Unknown Woman Finds Her Voice in Contesting Tears
  7. Cavell and Wittgenstein on Skepticism: Redeeming the Law
  8. Heidegger and Cavell and Woody Allen: Another Woman
  9. Halls of Montezuma and the Utility of War
  10. Thoreau, Civil Disobedience and Selma
  11. Lockean Liberalism and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  12. Cavell’s Notion of Acknowledgment and Boys Don’t Cry

About the Author

Dan Shaw is a retired professor of philosophy who taught for 32 years at Lock Haven University. He is managing editor of the print journal Film and Philosophy and a member of the Executive Board of the Society for the Philosophic Study of the Contemporary Visual Arts (SPSCVA).

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