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 Richard Rorty - Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
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TemporarySilent Offline




Beiträge: 231

09.03.2005 04:35
#16 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten

Hello across the language borders

In "the Mirror" Rorty uses the term "hermeneutics," "a polemical term in contemporary philosophy," as he calls it , to designate this central attempt on the part of postmodern thinking to set aside epistemologically centered philosophy. This is a most fitting term since Gadamer himself has characterized his philosophizing--hermeneutics--as an attempt to overcome the modes of thought of "the epistemological era." In his subsequent writings, however, Rorty tends to use the term "hermeneutics" less and less, perhaps due to the influence of Derrida?


I might be mistaken but it seems to me, that Rorty´s changing his philosophical position....

best wishes

Temp=)

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied:"so why ask me?"
_______________________________________

BlueHorizon Offline




Beiträge: 80

09.03.2005 15:34
#17 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten

In Antwort auf:
I might be mistaken but it seems to me, that Rorty´s changing his philosophical position

Dear Temp,
the later Rorty indeed is changing his philosophy and I am absolutely sure that this is due to Derrida gaining more and more influence on his philosophical works.But I got to read a little more ...


regards

Blue
The existence of truth only becomes an issue when another sort of truth is in question. (R.Rorty)

NietzscheIsDead Offline




Beiträge: 119

09.03.2005 17:01
#18 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear, Temp and Blue

I´d suggest you to approach Rorty slowly. He is not easy to understand
The Platonists would like to see a culture guided by something eternal. The positivists would like to see one guided by something temporal -the brute impact of the way the world is. But both want it to be guided, constrained, not left to its own devices. For both, decadence is a matter of unwillingness to submit oneself to something "out there"-to recognise that beyond the languages of men and women there is something to which these languages, and the men and women themselves, must try to be "adequate." For both, therefore, Philosophy as the discipline which draws a line between such attempts at adequacy and everything else in culture, and so between first-rate and second-rate truth, is bound up with the struggle against decadence.

So the question of whether such a post-Philosophical culture is desirable can also be put as the question: can the ambiguity of language ever really be taken seriously? Can we see ourselves as never encountering reality except under a chosen description-as, in Nelson Goodman's phrase, making worlds rather than finding them ? This question has nothing to do with "idealism"-with the suggestion that we can or should draw metaphysical comfort from the fact that reality is "spiritual in nature." it is, rather, the question of whether we can give up what Stanley Cavell calls the impossibility that one among endless true descriptions of me tells who I am."" The hope that one of them will do just that is the impulse which, in our present culture, drives the youth to read their way through libraries, cranks to claim that they have found The Secret which makes all things plain, and sound scientists and scholars, toward the ends of their lives, to hope . that their work has "philosophical implications" and "universal human significance."

so take care,

NID

_____________________________________________

"Is not all life the struggle of experience, naked, unarmed, timid but immortal, against generalised thought?" (W.B.Yeats)

TemporarySilent Offline




Beiträge: 231

12.03.2005 07:15
#19 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear Nid and Blue

In Antwort auf:
So the question of whether such a post-Philosophical culture is desirable can also be put as the question: can the ambiguity of language ever really be taken seriously? Can we see ourselves as never encountering reality except under a chosen description-as, in Nelson Goodman's phrase, making worlds rather than finding them ?


If it comes down how to speak the unspeakable humans will always tend to use metaphors to make a kind of universal sense.


best wishes

Temp=)

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied:"so why ask me?"
_______________________________________

BlueHorizon Offline




Beiträge: 80

14.03.2005 16:41
#20 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten

Dear Temp, Dear Sir NID
Rorty captures the source of this view of philosophy – a view extending from Plato through Kant and into our own day – in the metaphor that forms the title of his book. “The picture which holds traditional philosophy captive is that of mind as a great mirror containing various representations – some accurate, some not – and capable of being studied by pure, nonempirical methods” (PMN 12). Philosophy’s task is to use its special methods in order to secure the relationship between the mind’s representations and the world represented. On such a view, philosophy is foundational for culture because it is the tribunal of reason before which all other areas of inquiry are to be judged. Rorty believes that philosophy’s remoteness from the rest of culture follows from this privileged and special self-understanding – “the cultural overseer who knows everyone’s common ground . . . who knows what everybody else is really doing whether they know it or not, because [philosophy] knows about the ultimate context . . within which they are doing it” (PMN 317–18).
For the past three decades, Rorty has sought to dispel the image of the mirror of nature and the view of philosophy proper to it. In its place he has championed the view of the philosopher as “the informed dilettante, the polypragmatic, Socratic intermediary” (PMN 318) between various formsof inquiry. This is the role Rorty himself has occupied. And he has occupied it fearlessly and with considerable panache. This too explains whyhe has been so widely read outside of the discipline of philosophy. Few philosophers are so engaging to read. He writes with self-effacing charm,a quick and biting wit, a dizzying capacity for broad analogies, and a way of dividing through diverse thinkers in a single sentence that in less skilled hands would be mere pastiche. Let one brief sample, picked almost at random,serve:
“When we consider examples of alternative language games –the vocabulary of ancient Athenian politics versus Jefferson’s, the moral vocabulary of Saint Paul versus Freud’s, the jargon of Newton versus that of Aristotle, the idiom of Blake versus that of Dryden – it is difficult to think of the world as making one of these better than another, of the world as deciding between them” (CIS 5). Rorty seems to read everything. He moves easily from Wittgenstein to Heidegger or from Dewey to Derrida,but he is as apt to draw from a Philip Larkin poem, from Proust, or from a Nabokov novel as from Kant or Nietzsche.

regards
Blue
The existence of truth only becomes an issue when another sort of truth is in question. (R.Rorty)

NietzscheIsDead Offline




Beiträge: 119

14.03.2005 17:18
#21 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear Temp ,Dear Blue

Rorty seems to have always been a voracious reader. In a rare autobiographical essay he describes his childhood as bookish and solitary. He grew up in a household steeped in leftist politics. “When I was 12, the most salient books on my parents’ shelves were two red-bound volumes, The Case of Leon Trotsky and Not Guilty. These made up the report of the Dewey Commission of Inquiry into the Moscow Trials.
I never read them with the wide-eyed fascination I brought to books like Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis, but I thought of them in the way which other children thought of their family’s Bible: they were books that radiated redemptive truth and moral splendour” (PSH 5). He also read Marx, Marius the Epicurean, Proust,Eliot, Plato, The Brothers Karamazov, and so forth. And he devoured books about wild orchids. His was an unusual childhood and family.
Rorty was born in 1931, the only child of James and Winifred Raushenbush Rorty.James and Winifred Rorty were prominent in leftist and literary circles in New York. James was sympathetic to the Communist Party,though he never became a member. During the 1920s, he served as editor of The New Masses, a Communist journal that published the likes of John Dos Passos, Ezra Pound, Upton Sinclair, and other then-controversial writers. Winifred Rorty was also a writer – a specialist on race relations –and like James she was a Communist and active on behalf of leftist social causes. Daughter of the well-known theologian Walter Rauschenbusch,the founder of the Social Gospel Movement, she was steeped in progressive values and the connections of a socially active and politically conscious family. She had been a graduate student of Robert Parker at the University of Chicago during the heyday of the Chicago School of social theorists.When Richard was barely a year old, James and Winifred made a highly contentious break with the Communist Party. Along with a few others,they were convinced that Stalin had betrayed communism, and they were concerned by the extent to which the Communist Party in America was controlled from Moscow. In the overheated politics of the day, such a break produced enemies of former colleagues, along with their disillusionment about communism. The Rortys left New York for the remote rural community of Flatbrookville in the Delaware Water Gap area of New Jersey. Richard grew up in Flatbrookville, dividing his attention between his books,his fascination with wild orchids, and the stream of guests of his parents that included John Dewey, Carlo Tresca (the Italian anarchist), John Frank (Trotsky’s secretary, who lived with the Rortys under an assumed name),Sidney Hook, Whittaker Chambers, and Lionel Trilling. Rorty says of this period:

"I grew up knowing that all decent people were, if not ‘Trotskyites’ at least
socialists. I also knew that Stalin had ordered not onlyTrotsky’s assassination
but also Kirov’s, Ehrlich’s, Alter’s and Carlo Tresca’s . . . I knew that poor
people would always be oppressed until capitalism was overcome . . . [I knew]
a lot about what factory owners did to union organizers, plantation owners
to sharecroppers, and the white locomotive engineers’ union to the coloured
firemen (whose jobs white men wanted, now that the diesel engines were
replacing coal-fired steam engines). So, at 12, I knew that the point of
being human was to spend one’s life fighting social injustice." (PSH 6)

warm regards

NID

_____________________________________________

"Is not all life the struggle of experience, naked, unarmed, timid but immortal, against generalised thought?" (W.B.Yeats)

TemporarySilent Offline




Beiträge: 231

14.03.2005 21:34
#22 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear NID and Blue
I would suggest to sum it up like that

Throughout the 1970s, Rorty published papers that blended the ideas of Dewey, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein in a crusade against any concept of philosophy that gives legitimacy to mainstream philosophical debates
about truth, knowledge, and realism.
Worse, he took Derrida seriously,taught Michel Foucault’s works in his classes, and paid attention to what was happening in English departments where new approaches to literary theory were emerging. He was also traveling the lecture circuit, trying outchapters of what would become Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature is in some sense a “god that failed”book for Rorty. In it he aimed to show why reality and justice could not be held in a single vision, and why the view of philosophy that runs from Plato and Kant through contemporary analytic philosophy does not come to very much. It is one thing, however, to place this book in Rorty’s intellectual development and the philosophical context in which it was written. It is another thing to get clear about what his position is and the basis for it.

best wishes

Temp=)


¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied:"so why ask me?"
_______________________________________

NietzscheIsDead Offline




Beiträge: 119

14.03.2005 21:39
#23 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear Temp

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature challenged a conception of philosophy that was almost universally accepted among mainstream Anglo-American philosophers in the 1970s. This conception of philosophy, inherited from Descartes and given its clearest formulation by Kant, holds that before philosophers begin to speculate about what is and what ought to be, they should first get clear about what they can know and what they can’t know.For this standard conception of philosophy, theory of knowledge is “first philosophy,” and all other areas of philosophy should accede to its judgments about the limits of knowledge.
At the heart of traditional epistemology is “representationalism,” the view that we are, at the most basic level,minds containing beliefs of various sorts, and that our first task is to make sure our beliefs accurately represent reality as it is in itself. The project of determining which representations are accurate and which are not is seen as having broad implications for culture as a whole.

kotl
NID

_____________________________________________

"Is not all life the struggle of experience, naked, unarmed, timid but immortal, against generalised thought?" (W.B.Yeats)

BlueHorizon Offline




Beiträge: 80

17.03.2005 11:15
#24 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten

In Antwort auf:

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature is in some sense a “god that failed”book for Rorty. In it he aimed to show why reality and justice could not be held in a single vision, and why the view of philosophy that runs from Plato and Kant through contemporary analytic philosophy does not come to very much. It is one thing, however, to place this book in Rorty’s intellectual development and the philosophical context in which it was written. It is another thing to get clear about what his position is and the basis for it.

Dear Temp, hi ya NID

I am not sure how many philosophers have been discouraged by similar reflections from using the classical idea of truth. However, it is a fact that we are witnessing again the full bloom of “non-classical” concepts. And thus, for example Dummett [1] reduces the truthfulness of a statement to the conditions of its right verifiability. This concept is modified by Putnam, who understands truth as idealised, rational acceptability1. Finally, Rorty recalls the old pragmatic definition, and announces that what is good for us to believe is true. But somehow such solutions do not seem adequate to me.


regards

Blue
The existence of truth only becomes an issue when another sort of truth is in question. (R.Rorty)

TemporarySilent Offline




Beiträge: 231

17.03.2005 13:10
#25 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear Blue

Even if we forget the difficulties with defining “idealised rationality” or “what is good for us to believe” or who is the “us” being the “standard of truthfulness”, these concepts are projecting definitions of the notion of truth. They also seem to be based upon the naturalistic error similar to the one that Moore pointed out in the pragmatic definitions of the idea of “good”. Since such questions as “Is what is beneficial to us (good for us to believe) true?”, “Is the rationally acceptable true?” seem fairly natural and sensible, and the application of these projecting definitions turns them into a tautological question “Is the true true?” Moreover, I think that the ethical-pragmatic thesis saying that the best for us to believe is truth is sound and that justified assessment of the rationality of acting on the basis of checking whether accepted opinions are true.

lost in thoughts..


Best wishes

Temp=)


¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied:"so why ask me?"
_______________________________________

NietzscheIsDead Offline




Beiträge: 119

17.03.2005 14:08
#26 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear Temp ,lolol Blue

In Antwort auf:
“Is the rationally acceptable true?” seem fairly natural and sensible, and the application of these projecting definitions turns them into a tautological question “Is the true true?” Moreover, I think that the ethical-pragmatic thesis saying that the best for us to believe is truth is sound and that justified assessment of the rationality of acting on the basis of checking whether accepted opinions are true.

However, the return to non-classical concepts is most often motivated by the anti-representationist attitude, the belief that it is impossible to decide whether opinions are in accord with reality, because we do not have any access to the latter. Knowledge about reality as it really is, that is about reality itself, requires a God’s eye point-of-view. I do agree with most arguments presented by anti-representationists in their polemics against “metaphysical realism”. If representing is a relation of the (iso)homomorphism type between what is represented and what does the representing, and representationism or metaphysical realism is a philosophical standpoint according to which such a relation occurs between cognition and (objective)2 reality in itself, then it is actually an impossibility unless there is a super-human standpoint.

kotc
NID


_____________________________________________

"Is not all life the struggle of experience, naked, unarmed, timid but immortal, against generalised thought?" (W.B.Yeats)

TemporarySilent Offline




Beiträge: 231

17.03.2005 14:16
#27 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear NID and Blue ,

Still, I am not convinced that rejecting the standpoint of metaphysical realism results in giving up the classical understanding of truth as the agreement of opinion with reality. Indeed, we, as human beings or merely as objects, are submerged in reality itself, yet we are in contact—as learning and acting objects—with reality for us, the reality trimmed to suit us. This is much more intelligible and no God’s eye is necessary to decide whether the money is really hidden behind the picture, whether yesterday’s paper is really lying on the window-sill, or whether a ring is made of pure gold. Yet judging such home truths does not consist in climbing the language tree but, rather, requires certain actions; checking whether certain states do take place, manipulating objects.

best wishes

Temp=)


¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied:"so why ask me?"
_______________________________________

NietzscheIsDead Offline




Beiträge: 119

17.03.2005 14:23
#28 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dearest Temp , wake up Blue

Let us just observe that the question of whether an object α is really the X requires knowing what the constitutive features of “being X” are. Stating that something is “a real X” requires being familiar with methods which let us assert the presence of these features. Therefore, employing the notion of attributive truthfulness, we must move within a recognised area, within the domains where, as Hacking calls it, final truth of the matter is possible. Such a domain is definitely the reality of common experience, “trimmed” to suit creatures who are initially physical objects placed somewhere on the scales of values, complexities, energy; then organisms adequately equipped biologically, reacting selectively to the stimuli from the environment; and finally social creatures, authors of a language, culture, science, meanings and values. In this (historically changeable) reality of common experience final truth of the matter is possible; those home truths can be established.

kotc Temp bye for now Blue

NID

_____________________________________________

"Is not all life the struggle of experience, naked, unarmed, timid but immortal, against generalised thought?" (W.B.Yeats)

NietzscheIsDead Offline




Beiträge: 119

17.03.2005 14:29
#29 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


In Antwort auf:
This is much more intelligible and no God’s eye is necessary to decide whether the money is really hidden behind the picture, whether yesterday’s paper is really lying on the window-sill, or whether a ring is made of pure gold. Yet judging such home truths does not consist in climbing the language tree but, rather, requires certain actions; checking whether certain states do take place, manipulating objects.

Dear Temp

But the reality described by science is not merely an extension of this “domesticated” reality. We do not know, for example, what it means to be “a real quark”. We have even forgotten in a way what it means to be “a real atom” if, according to Weizsaecker, they are not the smallest amounts of something existing in space, but the smallest in the sense of information, and consequently he assumes a working hypothesis that “the atom” of contemporary physics is two-dimensional Hilbert space undergoing the so-called SU2 symmetries ([ pp. 150, 151). Despite this, however, it would be a cliche to state that science refers to the reality of direct experience and the very reality is the ultimate arbiter deciding the correctness of theoretical structures. We can assess empirical theories as true, however not in such a way that we decide about the truthfulness of every single theorem, but by constructing within their framework models of phenomena and by using them reaching the areas where final truth of the matter is possible.
Blue you´d better watch out lolol

kotc Lady

NID

_____________________________________________

"Is not all life the struggle of experience, naked, unarmed, timid but immortal, against generalised thought?" (W.B.Yeats)

TemporarySilent Offline




Beiträge: 231

18.03.2005 13:41
#30 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten

In Antwort auf:
We can assess empirical theories as true, however not in such a way that we decide about the truthfulness of every single theorem, but by constructing within their framework models of phenomena and by using them reaching the areas where final truth of the matter is possible.


Dear Nid and Blue
Yet in my opinion it is time we resumed the well-known, as I believe, idea of connotation. What particularly occupies my mind is the fate of the notion of truth within the philosophy of the empirical sciences. Many philosophers of science, dealing with empirical sciences, presupposed that the semantic notion of truth can, basically, be applied to these sciences.
Is there any assumption behind (explicite or implicite) that there will be a formalised axiomatic system?
A good model for formal theories— that is also acceptable for the empirical theories?

best wishes
Temp=)


¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied:"so why ask me?"
_______________________________________

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