Abstract

Starting with Dewey's encounter of the untranslatable in a foreign culture with his disappointing experience in Japan, this paper attempts to find an alternative mode of response to the untranslatable in another strain of American philosophy: the transcendentalism of Ralph W. Emerson and Henry D. Thoreau as reinterpreted by Stanley Cavell. This is a search for a more thorough anti-foundationalist idea of cosmopolitanism than Dewey's pragmatism allows us. I conduct this reinterpretation with reference to Cavell's ordinary language philosophy and its related idea of philosophy as translation. I conclude by proposing an alternative way of thinking about cosmopolitan education: a perfectionist education that serves the idea of achieving neighborhood through immigrancy, that is, by taking a path from the inmost to the outmost.

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