•  96
    Individuality and Mortality in the Philosophy of Portrait Painting: Simmel, Rousseau, and Melanie Klein
    Contrastes. Revista Internacional de Filosofia 23 (3): 27-52. 2018.
    This paper explores some connections between depictions of mortality in portrait-painting and philosophical (and psychoanalytic) treatments of our need to be recognized by others. I begin by examining the connection that Georg Simmel makes in his philosophical study of Rembrandt between that artist’s capacity for depicting his portrait subjects as non-repeatable individuals and his depicting them as mortal, or such as to die. After noting that none of Simmel’s explanations of the tragic characte…Read more
  •  84
    Remembering Stanley Cavell
    Conversations: The Journal of Cavellian Studies 7 65-68. 2019.
    Memorial notice for Stanley Cavell originally published on the Harvard Philosophy Department website.
  •  68
    This essay explores how some themes in the writing of Jean-Jacques Rousseau—particularly having to do with what it is to be a spectacle before others—might illuminate two feature films by the Spanish director Víctor Erice, The Spirit of the Beehive (El espíritu de la colmena, 1973) and El sur (1983).
  •  64
    The Affective and the Political: Rousseau and Contemporary Kantianism
    Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 59 301-339. 2020.
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau is often associated with a certain political mode of relating to another, where a person (“a Citizen”) is a locus of enforceable demands. I claim that Rousseau also articulated an affective mode of relating to another, where a person is seen as the locus of a kind of value (expressive of their being an independent point of view) that cannot be demanded. These are not isolated sides of a distinction, for the political mode constitutes a solution to certain problems that the …Read more
  •  55
    Spanish translation, with some additions, of "Spectators and Giants in Rousseau and Víctor Erice."
  •  30
    This essay provides an interpretation of the potential and limits of Michael Fried's difficult claims in his essay "Art and Objecthood" (1967) that cinema by its nature escapes the problems of modernism and also escapes the problems of theater. By focusing on Stanley Cavell's account of how cinema as an automatic medium escapes problems associated with variability across performances, I try to render a version of Fried's claim about cinema and theater that can ground a figurative version of his …Read more
  •  25
    An Autobiography of Companions
    Modern Language Notes 126 (5): 972-978. 2011.
    Part of a symposium on Stanley Cavell's memoir Little Did I Know held at the Johns Hopkins Humanities Center in 2011, this brief essay connects some themes from that book to concerns about knowledge of "what we say" as treated in the opening essays of Cavell's first book, Must We Mean What We Say?; and it attempts to illuminate the latter concerns by comparing them to recent philosophical work on self-knowledge, especially Richard Moran's book Authority and Estrangement.
  •  24
    In this paper, I investigate under-explored moments in Rousseau’s and Adam Smith’s writings in which each presents speech, and particularly testimony, as a manifestation of the desire for others’ recognition. I begin by considering some features of Rousseau’s understanding of amour-propre (or the desire for recognition from others) as well as that desire’s relevance for the conception of vocal speech (as in its nature passional) at the center of Rousseau’s Essay on the Origin of Languages. Since…Read more
  •  4
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau is often associated with a certain political form of relating to another as a person, where a person is seen as a locus of enforceable demands. Nevertheless, as I argue in this dissertation, Rousseau also articulated an affective form of relating to another, where relating to another as a person in this sense involves seeing them as a locus of a kind of value that cannot be demanded. I consider the significance of this affective form for Rousseau’s understanding of the pass…Read more
  • Este artículo explora ciertas conexiones entre la representación de la mortalidad en el retrato y el tratamiento filosófico de nuestra necesidad de ser reconocidos por los demás. En primer lugar, se examina la conexión que establece Georg Simmel en su estudio filosófico sobre Rembrandt entre la capacidad del artista para representar en sus retratos individuos irrepetibles, y su capacidad para capturar la finitud de los mismos en tanto que seres mortales. Tras señalar que ninguna de las explicaci…Read more