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“E.G.: The Force of Examples in Philosophy and Literature”

EG symposium Nov 14 JPegThursday November 14th, 5:30pm

Reception at 5pm.
Pink Parlor Room
East Duke Building
Duke University

PAL welcomes Eli Friedlander, Philosophy, Tel Aviv University, and Keren Gorodeisky, Philosophy, Auburn University, to a Mini- Symposium to explore the use of examples in Philosophy and Literature. There will be two presentations, with refreshments, and time for questions.

Eli Friedlander presents “Walter Benjamin on Examples, Types and the Archetype.” Friedlander recently published Walter Benjamin: A Philosophical Portrait (Harvard UP, 2011).  His talk will draw from Benjamin’s “News about Flowers.”

Kantian scholar Keren Gorodeisky will present her new lecture,  “Exemplary Criticism.”

Her abstract:

“In a crucial point in his landmark essay, “Aesthetic Problems of Modern Philosophy,” Stanley Cavell presents what I regard as “the paradox of criticism”:

The problem of the critic, as of the artist, is not to discount his subjectivity, but to include it; not to overcome it in agreement, but to MASTER IT IN EXEMPLARY WAYS. Then his work outlasts the fashions and argument of a particular age. That is the beauty of it.

In this paper, I explore what it means for the critic to master her subjectivity in exemplary ways, and how such an exemplification is possible given that agreement is the only vindication of critical judgment.  The exploration does not draw only on Cavell’s thought, but, primarily, on the literary criticism of Frank Raymond Leavis. I elaborate on the nature of critical agreement by way of interpreting the logic of the critical exchange as Leavis understands it: “This is so, isn’t it?” “Yes, but . . .” And by reconstructing the pillars of criticism according to Leavis—intelligence, delicacy of perception, supple responsiveness to the concrete and particular, responsibility, and fidelity to the living principle—I explain the character of the critic’s subjectivity and why it is to be mastered in exemplary ways.”


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