Telling Silence

Thresholds to No Where in Ordinary Experiences

Expected to ship: 2023-11-01

Aims to let silence disclose itself by cultivating attunements with silences’ happening.


In Telling Silence, Charles E. Scott speaks of silence, often indirectly, in such ways as to create occasions in which people might become more aware of silence in their experiences of themselves and the world around them. The core question of the book is: how can people be aware of silence without turning it into a thing and losing it? Lack of awareness of silence is lack of awareness of a major dimension of lives, both human and nonhuman. Attunements with silence enable attunements with being alive in the fragility that invests even the strengths of living beings. Telling Silence performs this attunement in descriptive accounts and instances of non-reflective awareness, awareness that does not deliberate or ponder. In twenty-three "fragments," poems, stories, and ways of thinking and speaking are brought together to intensify intimations of silence telling of itself.

Charles E. Scott is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, Vanderbilt University and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of numerous books including Living with Indifference, The Lives of Things, and The Time of Memory.


"Charles Scott does not write the way other philosophers write. He does not think the way they think. Silence tells him much more than it does the rest of us. If readers allow their imaginations to be stretched, Scott will show them how many and vast are the secrets of silence." — David Farrell Krell, author of A Black Forest Walden: Conversations with Henry David Thoreau and Marlonbrando