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Richard Rorty, Contingency, irony, and solidarity

· 1 January 2002 |  by Janantoon
· Published in: Boeken Janantoon
· Tagged with: · ·

Contingency, irony, and solidarity

Richard Rorty


taal: Engels
gepubliceerd door: Cambridge University Press
eerste editie:
gedrukt: 1999
verworven: 2002
bindwijze: paperback
isbn: 0521367816
verworven via: Amazon

Richard Rorty is one of the most provocative and influential thinkers of our time. His sustained critique of the foundationalist, metaphysical aspirations of philosophy has had a galvanizing effect both inside and outside philosophy departments, and has led Harold Bloom to describe him as "the most interesting philosopher in the world today."
In this book Rorty argues that thinkers such as Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein have enabled societies to see themselves as historical contingencies, rather than as expressions of underlying, ahistorical human nature or as realizations of suprahistorical goals. This ironic perspective on the human condition is valuable on a private level, although it cannot advance the social or political goals of liberalism. In fact Rorty believes that it is literature not philosophy that can do this, by promoting a genuine sense of human solidarity. Specifically, novelists such as Orwell and Nabokov (both discussed in detail in the book) succeed in awakening us to the humiliation and cruelty of particular social practices and individual attitudes. A truly liberal culture, acutely aware of its own historical contingency , would fuse the private, individual freedom of the ironic, philosophical perspective with the public project of human solidarity as it is engendered through the insights and sensibilities of great writers.
The book has a characteristically wide range of reference from philosophy through social theory to literary criticism. It confirms Rorty’s status as a uniquely subtle theorist.

More on and by Richard Rorty.


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