Autobiographicity and Subjectivity in Stanley Cavell’s Thought


  • Michał Filipczuk Uniwersytet Komisji Edukacji Narodowej w Krakowie, Szkoła Doktorska



Stanley Cavell; autobiography; psychoanalysis; philosophy as a therapy; aesthetics; Emersonian perfectionism


In this paper, my aim is to provide a brief characterisation of selected features of the Cavellian understanding of philosophy, especially in view of the role played by autobiographical aspects in Cavell’s philosophical and literary reflections. Autobiography would appear to be one of Cavell’s favourite sources of cognition, at the same time serving as an important medium for his self-promotion. The self-reflection which may be achieved thanks to autobiography is never purely passive; on the contrary, it entails an inherent element of introspection of one’s subjectivity. This creative dimension offers Cavell the opportunity to embark on his reading of Emersonian perfectionism, which he understood as a never-ending upward movement, an unstoppable advance towards self-perfection. At the same time, it reveals the irreducible complexity and pervasiveness of the autobiographical aspects in Cavell’s thought in their interconnections with other aspects of his thought, such as, for example, his unique approach to psychoanalysis (especially in therapeutic contexts), or to aesthetic experience. As a result, Cavell’s work in philosophy turns into a deeply personal experience which defies complete translation into discursive language.


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How to Cite

Filipczuk, M. (2024). Autobiographicity and Subjectivity in Stanley Cavell’s Thought. Zagadnienia Rodzajów Literackich The Problems of Literary Genres, 67(1), 149–162.