Conflicted about this one The philosophy in the first half is so compelling, but when he turns to politics in the second, he mostly becomes pretty boring Does he really carry through on the task he sets himself as a pragmatist, to worry about whether he has been imaginative enough to think up interesting alternatives to his present beliefs As our presidents, political parties and legislators become ever corrupt and frivolous, we turn to the judiciary as the only political institution for which we can still feel something like awe This awe is not reverence for the Euclid like immutability of Law It is respect for the ability of decent men and women to sit down around tables, argue things out and arrive at a reasonable consensus To say that one should replace knowledge by hope is to say much the same thing that one should stop worrying about whether what one believes is well grounded and start worrying about whether one has been imaginative enough to think up interesting alternatives to one s present beliefs My hunch is that the twentieth century will be seen by historians of philos0phy as the period in which a kind of neo Leibnizian panrelationalism was developed in various different idioms a panrelationism which restates Leibniz s point that each monad is nothing but all the other monads seen from a certain perspective, each substance nothing but its relations to all the other substances Moral development in the individual, and moral progress in the human species as a whole, is a matter of re marking human selves so as to enlarge the variety of the relationships which constitute those selves The ideal limit of this process of enlargement is the self envisaged by Christian and Buddhist accounts of sainthood an ideal self to whom the hunger and suffering of any human being and, perhaps, that of any other animal is intensely painful Should this progress ever be completed, the term morality would drop out of the language For there would no longer be any way, nor any need, to contrast doing what comes naturally with doing what is moral The trouble with aiming at truth is that you would not know when you had reached it, even if you had in fact reached it But you can aim at ever justification, the assuagement of ever doubt Analogously, you cannot aim at doing what is right, because you will never know whether you have hit the mark Long after you are dead, better informed and sophisticated people may judge your action to have been a tragic mistake, just as they may judge your scientific beliefs as intelligible only by reference to an obsolete paradigm But you can aim at ever sensitivity to pain, and ever greater satisfaction of ever various needs Pragmatists think that the idea of something nonhuman luring us human beings on should be replaced with the idea of getting and human beings into our community of taking the needs and interests and views of and diverse human beings into account You cannot aim at being at the end of inquiry, in either physics or ethics That would be like aiming at being at the end of biological evolution at being not merely the latest heir of all the ages but the creature in which all the ages were destined to culminate Analogously, you cannot aim at moral perfection, but you can aim at taking people s needs into account than you did previously It might be objected that this phrase is inapplicable in Roe v Wade since women are included int he relevant community I am not sure they are, both on Ely like grounds of under representation and on the vaguer but powerful ground that as banners at a pro choice demonstration recently put it if men got pregnant, they would have made abortion a sacrament The notion of a species of animals gradually taking control of its own evolution by changing its environmental conditions leads Dewey to say, in good Darwinian language, that growth itself is the moral end and that to protect, sustain and direct growth is the chief ideal of education Dewey s conservative critics denounced him for fuzziness, for not giving us a criterion of growth But Dewey rightly saw that any such criterion would cut the future down to the size of the present Asking for such a criterion is like asking a dinosaur to specify what would make for a good mammal or asking a fourth century Athenian to propose forms of life for the citizens of twentieth century industrial democracy We should raise our children to find it intolerable that we who sit behind desks and punch keyboards are paid ten times as much as people who get their hands dirty cleaning our toilets, and a hundred times as much as those who fabricate our keyboards in the Third World We should ensure that they worry about the fact that the countries which industrialized first have a hundred times the wealth of those which have not yet industrialized Our children need to learn, early on, to see the inequalities between their own fortunes and those of other children as neither the Will of God nor the necessary price for economic efficiency, but as an evitable tragedy Justice in other words is what the metaphysics of presence keeps trying and failing to identify with some set of institutions or principles Such identification is impossible, because every institution or principle will produce new, unexpected injustices of its own Ever imaginable utopia will need a social protest movement Justice is a ghost that can never be laid. Richard Rorty Is One Of The Most Provocative Figures In Recent Philosophical, Literary And Cultural Debate This Collection Brings Together Those Of His Writings Aimed At A Wider Audience, Many Published In Book Form For The First Time In These Eloquent Essays, Articles And Lectures, Rorty Gives A Stimulating Summary Of His Central Philosophical Beliefs And How They Relate To His Political Hopes He Also Offers Some Challenging Insights Into Contemporary America, Justice, Education And Love For me,a general reading,this book is provocative thinking.I interesting in,Rorty s offering on new philosophy of Hope and relate with lit and cul I skim the book during last four years.Various aspect I still can t understand him better.This book require me to read it again.so Sorrow for his life, I just know him on his last time.Hope will come true. A fantastic, utterly fantastic introduction to Richard Rorty s writing, an introduction so good that I don t particularly feel the need to read anything else because I feel that he s had the effect he s going to have and there isn t much else to say This collection of essays aspires to do two main things Firstly, to explain Pragmatism, a theory of truth which pervades to destroy theological, philosophical and scientific perceptions of truth because one can not be taken down without taking the others with it, according to Rorty The second is to build in that place to explain the value of theology, of science, and most importantly of philosophy in the absence of certainty and with the embrace of Pragmatism I d say that what Rorty did brilliantly for me was to dismantle the certainty philosophy granted itself during the Enlightenment, a project that Nietzsche had kickstarted for me in my personal journey and that Rorty has, potentially, effectively finished In its place he aspires to build philosophy back up in its usefulness by explaining how certainty is not necessary for philosophy to be brilliant in moral, political and personal endeavours, and that philosophy is all the better off in these areas without certainty This makes it completely impossible to practice philosophy that requires certainty metaphysics, metaethics, and any others I may have missed Good riddance.So far I m on board.Where Rorty struggles I think is in explaining why Pragmatism isn t only applied in philosophy, that scientific certainty must be taken down as well Here he slightly begins to lose me, and there s some further reading he motions toward that may swing me yet I m intrigued enough to consider it.Regardless, the impact of Pragmatism on me in dismantling philosophy stands Rorty makes a valiant effort at building philosophy back up from the ashes, motioning towards the movements of the philosophical ocean towards political philosophies that will learn from the mistakes of Marx I find it inspiring, and he s influenced my personal beliefs with his writings towards the latter end of this book I thought further that his last chapter on the criticisms that he is a postmodern relativist to be absolutely spot on, and it cemented Pragmatism as a philosophical and political force that has made a lot sense than approaches that have preceded it.Overall I think that this book is essential for anyone invested in Western philosophy, and I don t think there was a chapter that felt entirely out of place As a warning, this book requires a background in Western philosophy because he s dropping references all over the place, and the significance of what he is writing often won t be apparent to anyone not already familiar with the context in which this is written.I m very glad that he built where he destroyed A very important book.P.S I read a bit of Contingency, Irony, Solidarity I think at university, specifically a passage about George Orwell, and it was absolutely, completely awful, and my criticisms of that passage where he explains the lack of inherent truth through 1984 still stand today as my criticisms of Pragmatism s attempts at being than simply a very good critique of philosophy of it trying to be a critique of truth in itself This book is much, much better than that particular passage I still don t wholeheartedly agree with it, but it doesn t piss me off and impacted me in a brilliant way. This book has killed me then brought me back to life Some essays deserve five stars, for their engaging and witty explorations of pragmatism A few essays deserve one star In particular I disliked On Heidegger s Nazism I have a negative view of Heidegger to begin with, but was open to being persuaded by Rorty Not only did his argument not persuade me to change my mind about H, it confirmed my pre existing opinion and made me think less of Rorty.Reading Rorty I feel disabused of errors, but also left with very little His social hope is that we will engage in incremental problem solving and institution building On the one hand, this is what I spend much of my time doing as a minister, teacher, activist, and author Rorty believes it is the only tool we have approaching a egalitarian society And it is fragile But in these days of trouble which he presciently predicted in the essay Looking Backwards from the Year 2096 I wonder if this is enough If Rorty is correct that social hope as he describes it is our only tool, then we are probably in for a lot of trouble. extrapolates some implications of his earlier philosophical work of the three i ve read so far, this had the most unconvincing sections also his cold war trotskyism cum anticommunism is dated and weird, he doesn t seem to understand anything about the economy besides some loose JK Galbraith era pop institutionalism despite veblen, ayres and common being part and parcel of the pragmatist tradition I would say that the first third of the book is fantastic, top flight rorty, middle third is okay, and last third tedious come to think of it though, this might just be the product of him writing for a pop audience here anyway, still good rorty is good imo. This is what I read when the malaise hits Perks me back up every time. wonderful wonderful insights, at the nexus of ethics and everything else theories of politics, social systems, cognition, human evolution, language a lot of these are reworked versions of lectures, aimed at a general audience i would give almost anything to have attended them we lost a great mind this year when richard rorty passed away read this book it s full of all sorts of ideas worth thinking and talking about.
Richard Rorty 1931 2007 developed a distinctive and controversial brand of pragmatism that expressed itself along two main axes One is negative a critical diagnosis of what Rorty takes to be defining projects of modern philosophy The other is positive an attempt to show what intellectual culture might look like, once we free ourselves from the governing metaphors of mind and knowledge in which
- 288 pages
- Philosophy and Social Hope
- Richard M. Rorty
- 01 April 2018 Richard M. Rorty