The Recovery of the Human: Cavell, Skepticism, Romanticism

When and Where

Monday, February 13, 2023 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
200 Larkin
Centre for Ethics


Nikolas Kompridis


The Recovery of the Human: Cavell, Skepticism, Romanticism

Stanley Cavell’s portrayal of skepticism is unlike any other in philosophy. By attaching skepticism to larger questions about what it is to be human (and inhuman), Cavell tells a story about skepticism’s inhabitation of our philosophical and non-philosophical lives that not only departs dramatically from the skepticism literature; it risks departing from philosophy altogether. To tell his heterodox story about skepticism, Cavell required conceptual and expressive resources that philosophy by itself could not provide. And he came upon these resources unexpectedly as “outbreaks of romantic texts” in the final part of him magnum opus, The Claim of Reason. In this paper, I will show how Cavell’s persistent (if not always consistent) engagement with the “interplay between skepticism and romanticism” culminated in very novel as well as very timely views of our relation to others, both human and non-human, coinciding with an uncomfortably intimate relation to philosophy’s “other” – literature.

This event is in-person at the Centre for Ethics (Larkin building, room 200)

Nikolas Kompridis, Center for Humanities and Social Change, Humboldt University, Berlin, Visiting Scholar, Centre for Ethics

Contact Information


Centre for Ethics