Download Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity by Richard M. Rorty PDF

By Richard M. Rorty

From Library Journal
Rorty propounds, and faces squarely the implications of, a relativistic, non-essentialist view of guy and society. For him, attitudes, values, ideals, and practices are contingent phenomena of a selected time, position, and tradition, none of that is inherently higher or worse than the other. there's irony within the proven fact that you possibly can detect this, but nonetheless wish, and paintings for, "human solidarity" and freedom. How those positions may be reconciled is the topic of this crucial e-book, now not incidental to that are attention-grabbing discussions of Hegel, Heidegger, Habermas, Nietzsche, Nabokov, Freud, Dickens, and Orwell, between others. this can be Rorty at his so much stimulating, and he emerges as an important political theorist.
- Leon H. Brody, U.S. place of work of body of workers administration Lib., Washington, D.C.

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Additional info for Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity

Sample text

Davidson's account of linguistic communication dispenses with the picture of language as a third thing intervening between self and reality, and of different languages as barriers between persons or cultures. To say that one's previous language was inappropriate for dealing with some segment of the wodd (for example, the starry heavens above, or the raging passions within) is just ro say that one is now, having learned a new language, able to handle that segment more easily. To say that two communities have trouble getting along because the words they use are so hard to translate into each other is just to say that the linguistic behavior of inhabit{rnts of one community may,like the rest of their behavior, be hard for inhabitants of the other community to predict.

R 12: "It is a curiosity . . ' . . " I have enlarged on this claim in "Freud and Moral Reflection," in Pragmatism's Frcad, ed. Joseph Smith and $Tilliam Kerigan (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, rs86). 3o THE CONTINGENCY OF SELFHOOD If one considerschanceto be unworthy of determiningour fate, it is simply a relapseinto the pious view of the Universewhich Leonardohimselfwason the *"y ,o overcomingwhen he wrote that the sun doesnot move. . we are all too ready to forget that in fact everything to do with our life is chance,from our origin out of the meeting of spermatozoonand ovum onwards..

But though Freud's moral psychology is compatible with this attempt, ir does not entail it. For those who share this sense of the poet as paradigmadc, Freud will seem liberating and inspiring. But suppose that, like Kant, one instead sees the unselfish, unselfconscious, unim4ginative, decent, honest, dutiful person as paradigmatic. These are the people in praise of whom Kant wrore - people who, unlike Plato's philosopher, have no special acuity of mind or intellectual curiosity and who, unlike the Christian saint, are not aflame to sacrifice themselves for love of the crucified Jesus.

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