Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity

Contingency Irony and Solidarity A major American philosopher asserts that it is literature not philosophy that promotes a genuine sense of human solidarity and ultimately the advancement of liberal goals through the social consci

  • Title: Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity
  • Author: Richard M. Rorty
  • ISBN: 9780521367813
  • Page: 146
  • Format: Paperback
  • A major American philosopher asserts that it is literature, not philosophy, that promotes a genuine sense of human solidarity and ultimately, the advancement of liberal goals through the social consciousness it raises.

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    About “Richard M. Rorty

    • Richard M. Rorty

      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 the traditional problems of epistemology and metaphysics and indeed, in Rorty s view, the self conception of modern philosophy are rooted The centerpiece of Rorty s critique is the provocative account offered in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature 1979, hereafter PMN In this book, and in the closely related essays collected in Consequences of Pragmatism 1982, hereafter CP , Rorty s principal target is the philosophical idea of knowledge as representation, as a mental mirroring of a mind external world Providing a contrasting image of philosophy, Rorty has sought to integrate and apply the milestone achievements of Dewey, Hegel and Darwin in a pragmatist synthesis of historicism and naturalism Characterizations and illustrations of a post epistemological intellectual culture, present in both PMN part III and CP xxxvii xliv , are richly developed in later works, such as Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity 1989, hereafter CIS , in the popular essays and articles collected in Philosophy and Social Hope 1999 , and in the four volumes of philosophical papers, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth 1991, hereafter ORT Essays on Heidegger and Others 1991, hereafter EHO Truth and Progress 1998, hereafter TP and Philosophy as Cultural Politics 2007, hereafter PCP In these writings, ranging over an unusually wide intellectual territory, Rorty offers a highly integrated, multifaceted view of thought, culture, and politics, a view that has made him one of the most widely discussed philosophers in our time.

    740 thoughts on “Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity

    • 1) Our own truths are the results of individual interpretations of language. For further detail, read Heidegger Wittgenstein.2) Different people will interpret things differently. Some of these interpretations are irreconcilable. This is OK. For counterexamples, see Plato and Kant.3) It's OK to you to try and think independently. 3a) Literature and poetry are useful means to think and explore independently. Not just in aesthetics, but on social issues as well. Not just Nabokov, but Orwell.4) Yes [...]

    • I was at work a week or so ago and my boss got me to track down a quote by this guy and then to read over the article the quote was from. The article is here: web1.uctmine/~bcj/isAnyway, I’ve tended to avoid American pragmatists since a bad experience in my undergrad degree. But I’ve been reading lots of Dewey – you sort of have to if you are going to be doing anything around the sociology of education – and then the article above was so interesting that I thought I might read a bit more [...]

    • I read this book as a challenge to myself. An engineering education tends to engender a Manichean sensibility, as solutions are either correct or incorrect. When Richard Rorty died in 2007, I read a slate profile that classified him as that worst pariah of American middle-class sensibility - a relativist. But, there was a definite measure of respect for the positions he took. So I decided to give him a try, hoping to open my mind, but expecting to dance gleefully on his bleeding heart.Sadly, I w [...]

    • "Случайност, ирония и солидарност" не дава ясни и точни отговори, а предлага още една посока на мислене как можем да бъдем по-добри. В утопията на Рорти хората са либерални ироници. Либерални, защото смятат, че жестокостта е най-лошата човешка черта; ироници, защото са осъзнал [...]

    • Rorty posits a philosophy that in internally inconsistent, and ultimately, cowardly. To the degree that people can create their own ironic selves, they will necessarily tend to destroy solidarity. His notion of solidarity contradicts the contingent, ironic existences he argues that we have. He just doesn't LIKE that self-creators will come along that will increase suffering, so he creates a scheme that rejects their projects.The purpose of this ideal liberal society is to eradicate cruelty and s [...]

    • emergenthermitThe late Richard Rorty scandalized people with his ‘relaxed attitude’ when it came to truth. He was often charged with terms like ‘flippant’ and ‘relativistic.’ To rest at such a description of Rorty as a thinker would be to ignore his contribution to the dialogue of liberal thought, and also, to entertain the most refined prejudice of one contingent vocabulary. Contingent vocabularies are what this book is all about. In Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, Rorty sets ou [...]

    • As someone better versed in the Continental tradition, my perception of what I was told was "analytic" philosophy has varied from curiosity, to hesitant respect, to disdain. I can now say that, insofar as this book is an "analytic" work, it is expansive, eclectic and eye-opening to what sorts of philosophy can be done; it has especially piqued an interest in me for Pragmatism. If you know way more about Heidegger than Wittgenstein and feel that's a good thing, I urge you to read this.As for the [...]

    • Outstanding. This is the closest that a work of philosophy has ever come to reflecting my own personal beliefs. Rorty was an analytical philosopher in the Anglo-American tradition that had a 'road to Damascus' conversion to Continental philosophy. His writing is in the tradition of Nietzsche, Heidegger and Derrida combined with the Pragmatists, but he writes very clearly. He writes in such a way as to express exactly what he means to say, without ducking behind vague and complex language like ma [...]

    • Oh my, this was an interesting one. So much of what Rorty said, I agreed with to a T. Things that seem so obvious, but in the ordinary sphere of discourse are always clouded by metaphysical bullshit. The one thing he said that I couldn't jibe with (and I don't know whether I disagree with it or not, it was certainly disconcerting) was his notion of a divide between private ironism and public non-ironism. Either way, his whole thesis is very interesting and thought-provoking, and, to phrase it in [...]

    • The arrogant musings of a left-wing social philosopher who essentially divides people into three categories: dumb bunnies, common-sensers, and people who have the deep insight to agree with him. The only take-home message worth taking home was that philosophy is not as effective a vehicle for ideas as literature, which I knew beforehand.

    •             The publication of Contingency Irony, Solidarity seems to have been a major event in philosophy. It seems that many philosophers were scandalised, angry or offended by the text and its position. It was true to say that to read CIS was to encounter an intellectually brave and morally novel work like nothing I have read before. Why? Rorty wants to show us a preffered state of society. To do this Contingency Irony Solidarity (CIS) thumbs its nose at a lot of sacred cows. Ror [...]

    • Rorty makes a sympathetic case for a liberal utopia in which we should realize that the vocabularies we use (e.g.: our value, and beliefsystems as mediated by our socialization and language) are contingent and must be kept open to revision. This makes them equal, because no vocabulary is privileged, nor can a vocabulary be legitimized from a neutral, objective standpoint. There are thus no "true"meta-vocabularies. We should therefore not base our beliefs and actions about for instance solidarity [...]

    • fascinating meta-philosophy critique, about entire tendencies in thought towards metaphysician- here a bad thing- and the ironist- generally a good thing- but I can see how he could annoy those who are searching for some kind of holistic certainty, some way of thought that is atemporal, usually given capitals whether thick or thin, according to your particular final vocabulary he does not refer to my favourite philosopher, so he gets things out of Heidegger, Nietzsche, even Kant, which I do not [...]

    • An absolute must-read for any student (or fan) of the analytic tradition in Western philosophy. Rorty criticizes not only basic assumptions in the Enlightenment tradition's approach towards examining meaning, speech and truth but also how this approach that we've inherited is flawed in understanding itself and other systems of thought. If all this sounds excessively obtuse, I hope you take my word it isn't. The implications of these ideas range not only from the political and sociological but al [...]

    • I've always wondered how to reconcile Nietzschean self-creation with liberal politics, and so it is with a tremendous sense of excitement, and relief, that I learn from Richard Rorty that it is not necessary to reconcile the two, that in fact it is a mistake to try for some kind of synthesis. One has to be contented with their separation, to be a liberal ironist, as Rorty calls it. The irony is directed at all final vocabularies, one's own as well as others', understanding that there is no final [...]

    • I was lost for so long, but now I am seen.-Quick Summary:It's a book that is more complex than it might initially seem, because it's going for something like unified account account of what a modern liberal should be like. A good place to start would be Rorty's disillusionment with big plans and utopian thinking guiding politics:"I do not think that we liberals can now imagine a future of "human dignity, freedom and peace." That is, we cannot tell ourselves a story about how to get from the actu [...]

    • The main issue I have with Rorty's perspective isn't his idea that language, self, and community are contingent but what I do take issue with is his claim that all we do in this contingency is re-describe (p99 quoted in full below). I think Rorty is acting in bad faith and doesn't want to accept that our so-called re-descriptions and so-called final vocabularies have considerable effects on people's lives. I wouldn't say we are looking for the true society, true epistemology in the analytic trad [...]

    • The late professor Rorty changed my life. Not that I agree with all his opinions, but the depth of his reasoning, the erudition and gravity and unshakable reasonableness of his writing opened my mind to new levels of thinking. Coupled with Nietzsche's Beyond Good & Evil (which I read for the same class when I was a sophomore), the effect was literally life-changing.The book is about the impossibility of transcultural values, the possibilities and promise of sloughing off Enlightenment ration [...]

    • As is often the case with my (thouroughly dilettante) ventures into reading philosophy, I couldn't really sum up what this book is about to you if you asked me right now, but bits and pieces of it often roll around in my head. I remember agreeing strongly with Rorty's skepticism about a universal morality, and with his conviction that hurting others is the worst anyone can do; I don't remember being too convinced by how he tried to reconcile the two. I also remember the passages on how intellect [...]

    • If nothing else, read the five-star essay, that you don't even need too much philosophy background to appreciate, on Nabokov entitled "The Barber of Kasbeam"

    • yes, it is a philosphical book but in short it is about the power of books and literature! It will change your perspective on reading and the use of books. Great!

    • my thoughts are MANY. i do not know where to begin. i suppose "liberal ironist"—pretty much how i think of myself, for better or worse—is as good a place as any. trying to wrap my head around the conclusion i think of the current left rhetoric around care, love, etc notions i find hopelessly soft-minded even as, in fact, i enact behaviour that looks a fair bit like that all the time. the idea of liberal ironist clears it up. the point is not to give a thought to "recognition of common humani [...]

    • the way he communicates his insights follow directly from his own “post-analytic philosophy” which sees the never-ending process of description and re-description of things as the driver of social change. conclusions were not exactly new, but as in any work of this kind, the novelty is in the arguments and framing of issues. rorty says we won’t ever unearth some ultimate metaphysical ground on which to stake our ethico-political claims, but the promise of literature (and today I would also [...]

    • Rorty's neo-pragmatic thoughts on de jure and de facto socio-political status and functions of philosophy and literature in our society of sheer contingencies, ornamented by his readings of Nietzsche,Heidegger,Derrida,Nobokov and Orwell

    • I must hand it to Rorty, he truly knows his language and how to use it (which underscores his thesis!). I picked up CIS with skepticism on the general theory backing his beliefs (pragmatism) since I do not really believe it exists. Perhaps, this is the position Rorty is hoping you will approach from, any respectable metaphysician would, so as to break down your worldview (if such a thing existed in the first place), rebuild it in a new language, and set you sailing on your way with the idea that [...]

    • для мене сенс прикінцевої думки книги Річарда Рорті вклався у твердження: "Из моей позиции следует, что чувства солидарности зависят от того, какие сходства и различия поражают нас своей выпуклостью, и что такая выпуклость является функцией исторически случайного конечно [...]

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