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 Richard Rorty - Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
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BlueHorizon Offline




Beiträge: 80

18.03.2005 13:48
#31 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten

In Antwort auf:
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?


Dear Temp

We can agree that the idealisation in this case must go quite far. However, it was thought that it wouldn’t be too far and that this could be helped by minor corrections that might even improve the adequacy of the model. Thus, attempts to define the idea of approximate truth were taken up, a theory of non-monotonous reasoning was developed, there were also attempts to avert the demand for the language of the examined theory to be elementary, etc. Work based upon these kinds of assumptions is still carried out. I, myself used to write, slightly carelessly, that certain statements, eg. empirical formulas, are “true in Tarski’s sense”. Formulating a definition of truth for a certain formalised language L—that is defining when a statement α in this language is true—is possible when a number of conditions is fulfilled.

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

NietzscheIsDead Offline




Beiträge: 119

21.03.2005 21:45
#32 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear Temp and Blue

Culture is a paradoxical commodity. So completely is it subject to the law of exchange that it is no longer exchanged; it is so blindly consumed in use that it can no longer be used. Therefore it amalgamates with advertising. The more meaningless the latter seems to be under a monopoly, the more omnipotent it becomes. The motives are markedly economic.

One could certainly live without the culture industry, therefore it necessarily creates too much satiation and apathy. In itself, it has few resources itself to correct this. Advertising is its elixir of life. But as its product never fails to reduce to a mere promise the enjoyment which it promises as a commodity, it eventually coincides with publicity, which it needs because it cannot be enjoyed.

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

24.03.2005 03:42
#33 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear NID and Blue

In Antwort auf:

Thus, attempts to define the idea of approximate truth were taken up, a theory of non-monotonous reasoning was developed, there were also attempts to avert the demand for the language of the examined theory to be elementary, etc. Work based upon these kinds of assumptions is still carried out. I, myself used to write, slightly carelessly, that certain statements, eg. empirical formulas, are “true in Tarski’s sense”.

What is wrong with truth understood as correspondence between propositions and facts, that so many philosophers try to find some other way to grasp it? The fault is usually perceived on the side of reality, of course. Either the very existence of objective reality is doubted or the possibility of the cognitive accessibility to it is doubted. “Our world” is declared to be the only object of cognition, but it is supposed not to exist in an objective way. Presumably contemporary science does not incline one to accept any of such conclusions. We can take “our world” as existing objectively—in an ontological sense—as well as presume that we can acquire objective knowledge about it, in a “species objectivity” 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?"
_______________________________________

NietzscheIsDead Offline




Beiträge: 119

26.03.2005 08:56
#34 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear Temp and Blue

In Antwort auf:

One could certainly live without the culture industry, therefore it necessarily creates too much satiation and apathy. In itself, it has few resources itself to correct this. Advertising is its elixir of life. But as its product never fails to reduce to a mere promise the enjoyment which it promises as a commodity, it eventually coincides with publicity, which it needs because it cannot be enjoyed.

Etymologically ‘culture’ is not in opposition to nature (as it is seen today)– on the contrary, its original meaning was the clearing of a place, the cultivation of natural growth. The Latin verb colere ranges in meaning from nourishing, caring, and inhabiting to worshipping and protecting. In the meaning of ‘inhabiting’ the term shifts to the Latin colonus, the settler, and further on to today’s colonialism. This wide scale of meaning marks the poles between which the concept of culture oscillates – it inherits on the one hand the imposing authority of the religious based ‘cult’, but shows on the other an awkward affinity to invasion and occupation. The natural and the artificial, our transformation of the world as raw material, as the world’s transformation of ourselves, are in a dialectical relationship I borrow a poetical image from Shakespeare to illuminate the interplay between nature and culture:

Yet nature is made better by no mean,
But nature makes that mean: so o’er that art
Which you say adds to nature, is an art
that nature makes.
[---]
...this is an art
Which does mend nature, – change it rather, but
the art itself is nature.
(William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, Act IV, Scene III.)


Nature generates culture, which in turn changes or even destroys that very nature – in another twist of the spiral, culture becomes something that should close the gap, that should restore an attachment to our natural base, an incorporation,and provide the integration into one’s surroundings and society – an integration that is increasingly affected by the same culture and its products.The desire for embodiment and fullness lives on in our concept of culture,infusing the contingency with meaning and signification as every symbol tries to make sense out of the chaos, sense that implies always a ‘here’, localisation and connection. Culture as the regaining of a primary integration into one’s place holds vice versa the idea that culture is something regional or local, so to say,an organic emanation of the genius loci – intertwining at the same time rootedness and relativity. Johann Gottfried Herder was probably the first to use the word culture in the sense of a cultural identity, a way of living, which formed the home of a people. In an almost postmodern gesture, he proposed not to talk about culture any longer, but about cultures.3 The plural shows a switch towards differences and differentiation, and that very variety was now seen as precious and important, as a sign of vitality. But with the idea, that every people or nation has its own distinct culture, the question of understanding the manifold expressions of an unique culture comes into view. Simultaneously, and paradoxically enough, culture became universal (as did art at the same time) in the possibility of absorbing one’s own small-minded particularity into a greater medium, in shared humanity or brotherhood. And its understanding turned into a sort of divination that never comes to an end. Like the art piece, this concept tries to balance peculiarity and its implicit law, individuality and generality – creating a place and transcending it at the same time.

Then culture (as the founding metaphor) turns into the hostage of politics, becomes the ultima ratio of suicidal acts of self-differentiation. The longing for a separate and autonomous territory can develop into an alliance with terrorism, as the wish for foundation may support fundamentalism. The streams of money and media insensitive to place and location – are in opposition to that territorial fight only at first glance. Rather, they are used or abused to fund such fundamentalist claims, as, vice versa, the fear of transitions or periods of transition towards globalisation may be exploited to underline fundamentalist concepts.


In Antwort auf:

What is wrong with truth understood as correspondence between propositions and facts, that so many philosophers try to find some other way to grasp it? The fault is usually perceived on the side of reality, of course. Either the very existence of objective reality is doubted or the possibility of the cognitive accessibility to it is doubted. “Our world” is declared to be the only object of cognition, but it is supposed not to exist in an objective way. Presumably contemporary science does not incline one to accept any of such conclusions. We can take “our world” as existing objectively—in an ontological sense...



Dearest Temp

It seems that nowadays culture means more the affirmation of a specific national, ethnic or regional identity – not its going beyond that identity, as we might experience through writings, works of art or music. The return of space/place and location in philosophical discourses is only the other side of the coin. We might point out that today culture is no longer part of the solution, rather, it has turned into part of the problem and into a battlefield.
Perhaps we should develop an open-minded concept of culture, shifting in the same paradoxical tension as has art since its invention. Its manifold manifestations opened the way for an imaginative universe, simultaneously melting away the idea of an objective truth, at least in the sphere of norms (Berlin 1992:82). Similarly a poeticised term of culture -(A concept which is widened by Richard Rorty. He sees persons and cultures as incorporated vocabularies, which have to be constantly corrected and opened through familiarity with other groups (Rorty: 138ff -Contingency, Irony and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989) could be used to build up a vocabulary which enables us to create a sort of mobile self image, free to be widened in the encounter with other visions. Not the knowledge of an eternal truth, but imagination, is the most important instrument of the good as the capability of taking over one’s place (Dewey 1998: 401). It is a constant balancing of imparting meaning, (that is not unchangeable sense) free of any dogmatic,centralistic significance. A corresponding idea might be the relationship between place and location. I’m here but simultaneously I’m elsewhere – place identity and place non-identity are not in opposition. Those heterotopias, that are not fixed in a system become more and more the space we inhabit.


warm regards

NID


_____________________________________________

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

BlueHorizon Offline




Beiträge: 80

26.03.2005 09:38
#35 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten

Dear Temp and NID


Rorty's seeming contradictions carry over to his thoughts about education. Rorty tells a story about education with deep roots in his philosophical ideas, but which is at heart incompatible with those ideas. In this essay I argue that Rorty's statements about education contradict the goals and ethos of his liberal utopia - a place intended to provide a safe haven for, and exhort all citizens to become, ironic self-creators. As I see it, there are two specific problems. First, the supposedly liberal Rortyan education is riddled with inequity. Rorty creates a system that affords only a select elite the opportunity of self-edification toward becoming a liberal ironist. Second, I argue that the consequences of fostering a community of self-creating liberal ironists is potentially, even likely, to cause grave conflict among citizens. The public-private distinction so crucial to Rorty's liberal utopia is not sufficient to protect individuals from the unbounded quests for self-creation of other individuals. Rorty needs to supplement his contingent notion of solidarity with a description of how citizens are educated to be liberals; or alternately, he needs to explain how there might be an inner connection between irony and liberalism.

The best place to begin an explication of Rorty's ideas of education is with his view of what human beings are. For it is at just this point that we see the absolutely crucial role that education plays in a Rortyan community. Rorty holds a strictly non-essentialist view of human nature. We cannot speak sensibly, Rorty believes, about illuminating the essence of what is human or locating what is by nature intrinsic to the species. Instead, Rorty holds the view that "human beings are centerless networks of beliefs and desires and that their vocabularies and opinions are determined by historical circumstance."[4] While there may be, of course, large areas in which our beliefs and desires overlap, Rorty thinks that these commonalities are contingent and not a result of some core essence of Homo sapiens. Humans are conditioned not by any deep, fundamental human nature, but rather by the contingent historical circumstances in which they grow up and live. We can appreciate better the educational implications of this non-essentialist view of human beings in the following passage:

There is no such thing as human nature....Nor is there any such thing as alienation from one's essential humanity due to societal repression....There is only the shaping of an animal into a human being by a process of socialization, followed (with luck) by the self-individualization and self-creation of that human being through his or her later revolt against that very process.[5]

If the human being is nothing more than an agglomeration of beliefs and desires which is gradually shaped and self-molded, education broadly conceived plays an enormous role in forming those beliefs and desires, and directing that shaping and molding. For without a notion of "the core essence of man" humans learn, or are taught, everything. There is no natural structure to which an education must adhere, no self-germination or teleological actualization of the human seed. What we are is what we have become through historical circumstance, not what we were destined to be due to some innate structure of humanity. Rorty could make no sense, for example, of Rousseau's ideal education as expressed in Emile, where the touchstone principle for any educational practice is: "does it accord with nature?" For Rorty, there is no nature; there is only education (broadly construed).

With Rorty's non-essentialist conception of the self, however, we must entirely redefine what is meant by education. Education, as Rorty notes, has almost always been associated with the acquisition and transmission of knowledge.[6] Rorty, on the other hand, follows Gadamer and describes a conception of humankind in which the quest for knowledge, and by extension the transmission of knowledge, is no longer in point. For Rorty, the term "knowledge" implies the grasping of essential, timeless truths and an underlying epistemology that seeks to mirror as accurately as possible the world around us. Paraphrasing Gadamer, Rorty substitutes "the notion of Bildung (education, self-formation) for that of 'knowledge' as the goal of thinking." Gadamerian hermeneutics replaces Cartesian epistemology. With Bildung as the goal of thinking, the words we use and the conversations we have with each other move to the fore of any educational endeavor. "From the educational, as opposed to the epistemological or the technological, point of view, the way things are said is more important than the possession of truths."

Rorty re-defines education to be the process of self-formation and self-creation forged in the crucible of language rather than the acquisition and transmission of epistemologically founded truths that exist independent of language. In re-defining education, Rorty also renames it: "Since 'education' sounds a bit too flat, and Bildung a bit too foreign, I shall use 'edification' to stand for the project of finding new, better, more interesting, more fruitful ways of speaking."[10] Edification describes the lifelong project of self-formation and re-creation which is appropriate for the conception of human beings as contingent, centerless networks of beliefs and desires.


regards

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

NietzscheIsDead Offline




Beiträge: 119

30.03.2005 22:46
#36 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten

In Antwort auf:

With Rorty's non-essentialist conception of the self, however, we must entirely redefine what is meant by education. Education, as Rorty notes, has almost always been associated with the acquisition and transmission of knowledge.[6] Rorty, on the other hand, follows Gadamer and describes a conception of humankind in which the quest for knowledge, and by extension the transmission of knowledge, is no longer in point. For Rorty, the term "knowledge" implies the grasping of essential, timeless truths and an underlying epistemology that seeks to mirror as accurately as possible the world around us. Paraphrasing Gadamer, Rorty substitutes "the notion of Bildung (education, self-formation) for that of 'knowledge' as the goal of thinking." Gadamerian hermeneutics replaces Cartesian epistemology. With Bildung as the goal of thinking, the words we use and the conversations we have with each other move to the fore of any educational endeavor. "From the educational, as opposed to the epistemological or the technological, point of view, the way things are said is more important than the possession of truths."

Dear Temp , welcome home, Blue

The link between pragmatism and education for democracy is clearly visible in such a Rortyan understanding of hope. To further elucidate the link between pragmatism and the development of education for democracy, I once again refer to Rorty’s (1999) Philosophy and Social Hope.Rorty’s version of pragmatism is devoted to ensuring that education is/becomes democratic.Viewed with pragmatist eyes, Rorty believes that an education for democracy should be constituted by social cooperation and trust (1999:xiii), “increasing tolerance and increasing equality” (1999: 16) and “increasing responsiveness to the needs of a larger and larger variety of people and things” (1999: 81). I shall now deal with these constitutive meanings of an education for democracy in detail, with specific reference to democratic moments in our online discourse People with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds as well as differences in aspirations,values, dispositions and points of view who attended the workshops were organised in groups whereby they were encouraged to consult with one another and to share their under- standings of knowledge constructs and diverse patterns of meaning vis-à-vis education. Rorty does much to support claims for the possibility of social cooperation and trust. His Contingency, Irony and Solidarity is largely devoted to showing how people can come to acknowledge universally the “real shared problem” of alleviating human suffering while preserving a place for diversity in conceptions of a good life, in this instance, education for democracy(Rorty, 1989: 83). However, in Objectivity, Relativism and Truth he emphasises that if we come together in a collaborative effort to deal effectively with conceptions of a good life (education for democracy) we must be able to talk about them in a similar way through sharing and consultation (Rorty, 1991:103). The point of consultation and sharing was to encourage the widest possible social cooperation and trust among different critical inquirers on matters related to quality, equality, rights,centralised and decentralised governance,accountability, development and transformation.

warm regards

NID


_____________________________________________

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

BlueHorizon Offline




Beiträge: 80

13.04.2005 09:18
#37 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear Temp & NID

Guess we had to recall that Rorty is pursuing a nonteleological account of intellectual history which
relies on Davidson’s claim that metaphors have no meaning beyond the literal. Rorty thinks such a view of metaphor will let us see intellectual change as contingent and nonteleological.
He says that metaphors stand outside the limits of “regular, predictable linguistic behavior.”As such they have no place in any current “language game,” because “to have a meaning is to have a place in a language game. Metaphors, by definition, do not.” Since they have no place in a language game, metaphors fit with no established pattern of justification; they stand outside these patterns and cause us to create new patterns of justification. This results from the fact that though, as Davidson says, they cause lots of effects in the reader or listener, they do not represent anything. They stand for no facts or ideas.

regards

Blue


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

NietzscheIsDead Offline




Beiträge: 119

17.04.2005 17:54
#38 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten

In Antwort auf:

This results from the fact that though, as Davidson says, they cause lots of effects in the reader or listener, they do not represent anything. They stand for no facts or ideas.




Lol Blue it´s an extreme example playing language games--i.e his discursive interventions. But interestingly, even when he is at his archaeological best, he is still playing language games quite consciously, even
violently (note the "flames" on Sartre, for instance), and is thus intervening. And when he is at his interventionist best, he can't resist the temptation to make metaphilosophical points


take care lolololol

NID


_____________________________________________

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

TemporarySilent Offline




Beiträge: 231

23.04.2005 20:24
#39 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Dear NID and Blue

Nonetheless it seems to me Davidson makes against semantic theories of metaphor: (1) metaphors, or metaphorical expressions,do not say anything beyond the literal meanings of their words, nor do metaphor
makers say anything beyond the literal meanings of the words they use ; (2) metaphors do not have a “special,” “second,” or figurative meaning; (3) metaphors do not “convey ideas” or have “cognitive content” (beyond that expressed by the literal meanings of the words used) and (4) there are no rules for making or interpreting metaphors.

How can we ensure Rorty´s metaphor of the "Mirror" will not be disguized by Davidson?


(a little helpless)

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?"
_______________________________________

Metaphysiker Offline




Beiträge: 43

09.05.2005 07:22
#40 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten


Hi Blue, NID and Temp


Dearest Temp, you write:
"How can we ensure Rorty´s metaphor of the "Mirror" will not be disguized by Davidson?"


Davidson says "Since we cannot hope to interpret linguistic activity without knowing what a speaker believes and cannot found a theory of what he means on a prior discovery of his beliefs and intentions, I conclude that in interpreting utterances from scratch - in radical interpretation - we must somehow deliver simultaneously a theory of belief and a theory of meaning." (Inquiries;p.144)

Truth fills in the last part of this triad by essentially explaining what the meaning of an utterance is, and for Davidson the meaning of an utterance is simply the conditions in the world which would make the utterance true. Thus Davidson uses truth to get at meaning.


bis demnächst,

Metaphysiker


BlueHorizon Offline




Beiträge: 80

09.05.2005 07:36
#41 RE:On Rorty´s basic philosophical position antworten

Hello across the ocean, Temp & Metaphysiker - great to have you with us , LOL NID you don´t expect Metaphysiker writing English, do you? .


Rorty finds much of Davidson’s theory of meaning, in addition to his theory of metaphor, a useful supplement to pragmatism. Turning to Davidson’s theory of metaphor, the operative feature of his positive theory is that for him metaphor is relevant to the area of pragmatics rather than the semantics of a language.
Metaphor, then, is a function of the use of words and sentences, and this use depends entirely on the literal (Davidson uses the unloaded term “ordinary”) meanings of the words used. What makes Davidson’s view unique is what he denies in the traditional accounts, and yet what he simultaneously retains concerning the importance of metaphor.

warm regards across the ocean

Blue


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

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