Stanley Cavell's "The Claim of Reason"

A Conference at the University of Leipzig, 7-9 November, 2019
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the publication of Stanley Cavell’s masterwork The Claim of Reason, this conference will be devoted to an exploration of its central topics: criteria, the relation between skeptical and ordinary doubt, agreement in judgment and language, speaking inside and outside language games, the distinction between specific and generic objects, the relation between meaning and use, our knowledge of the external world, our knowledge of other minds, the asymmetry between external-world and other-minds skepticisms, the concept of a non-claim context, the distinction between knowledge and acknowledgment, the place of knowledge in the articulation of the concept of morality, and, finally, the relation between literary form and philosophical content. The conference will also explore Cavell’s relations to and discussions of the three philosophers who most centrally influenced that book: Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin and Thompson Clarke.



Click on Poster and Program for PDF version.

Reading materials for the conference may be found in the password protected folder. Please contact the organizers to obtain the password.


Thursday, November 7
2pm – 4pm
Martin Gustafsson – “A Closer Look at Cavellian Projections”
Moderator: Gilad Nir
4:30pm – 6:30pm
Eli Friedlander – “Aspects, Attitudes, Myths and Occasions”
Moderator: Maria Balaska
Friday, November 8 
10am – 12pm
Piergiorgio Donatelli – “Cavell, Culture, and Estrangement”
Moderator: Benjamin Pollock
2pm – 4pm
Jean-Philippe Narboux – “Cavell on ‘Elaboratives'”
Moderator: Jonathan Soen
4:30pm – 6:30pm
Avner Baz – “The Moralization of Moral Theory”
Moderator: Anne-Marie Søndergaard Christensen
Saturday, November 9
10am – 12pm
Adrian Haddock – “On Our Relation to the World, and to Others, in General”

Moderator: David Wellbery

2pm – 4pm
Arata Hamawaki – “‘Not in Fact Mistaken but in Soul Muddled’: Cavell on the Skeptical Plight of Mind”
Moderator: Christian Martin
4:30pm – 6:30pm
Sandra Laugier – “The Claim of Reason as a Study of the Human Voice”
Moderator: Niklas Forsberg


  • Avner Baz (Tufts University)
  • Piergiorgio Donatelli (Sapienza University of Rome)
  • Eli Friedlander (Tel Aviv University)
  • Martin Gustafsson (Åbo Akademi)
  • Adrian Haddock (University of Stirling)
  • Arata Hamawaki (Auburn University)
  • Sandra Laugier (Panthéon-Sorbonne University)
  • Jean-Philippe Narboux (Bordeaux Montaigne University)


  • Maria Balaska (University of Hertfordshire)
  • Niklas Forsberg (University of Pardubice)
  • Christian Martin (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)
  • Gilad Nir (University of Leipzig)
  • Benjamin Pollock (Hebrew University)
  • Jonathan Soen (Tel Aviv University)
  • Anne-Marie Søndergaard Christensen (University of Southern Denmark)
  • David Wellbery (University of Chicago)


7-9 November, 2019


johannes.sudau [at]

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