Stanley Cavell is one of the most distinguished American philosophers of our time and an influential thinker in film and literary studies, politics, and the arts. His work brings together analytical, Continental and American philosophy (especially Emerson and Thoreau), the arts, and psychoanalysis. His influence has been felt in theories of film, literature, music, and politics, as well as in the philosophy of language and American studies. Cavell has published numerous books and scholarly articles, most recently The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy (1999), Contesting Tears: the Hollywood Melodrama of the Unknown Woman, (1996) and The Cavell Reader, (1996). Cavell received his A.B. in music from the University of California, Berkeley and his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University. After teaching in Berkeley for six years, he returned to Harvard in 1963, where he became the Walter M. Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value. He became Professor Emeritus in 1997. Professor Cavell has received several prizes and honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 1992. He is past President of the American Philosophical Association.