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2 essay heidegger others papers philosophical rorty volume

Snurp - grad student, writer, psuedo-intellectual. Reads books, talks culture, tries not to be too pretentious while doing so. Wednesday, June 03, 2009 Richard Rorty: Essays on Heidegger and Others: This usually comes at one of two points: In the former case, arguments about whether all experiences are directly intentional, or whether some are based upon intentional experiences but are not themselves intentional, and what that means about intentionality, seems pointless.

Who cares about intentionality? One has to act now, or else the hostage dies.

What do you do? Of course, philosophy responds to the two questions above. To the first, it says that these questions very much matter.

Without them, we cannot be aware of our own limits. To the latter argument, philosophy has a simple response: An action rushed is always a foolish action, and creates disaster as often if not more so than it generates heroes. When we took a look at Merleau-Ponty and embodied phenomenology, we saw a new type of response to the first of the above responses from classical philosophy. Merleau-Ponty did not claim that he could answer the questions of classical epistemology to their standards.

Drop the assumptions and a more sensible view and one, he thought, that concurs with actual experience develops.

  1. Rorty suggests that the task of philosophy should be distinguished along public and private lines.
  2. To the first, it says that these questions very much matter.
  3. Richard Rorty, Essays on Heidegger and Others.

Richard Rorty, writing after and about the attacks of Heidegger and post-modernism on conventional philosophy, agrees in spirit with this sort of response. Having been raised in the analytic tradition, Rorty eventually found himself questioning what that tradition could accomplish in a world that was no longer the land of essences that philosophy had thought it to be.

Everyone was asking the same old questions and assuming the same standards for answers. However, there is little explicit metaphilosophical defense or development of this. They formed the central issues about which one argued. They were also based on a hope: We all hanker after essence and share a taste for theory as opposed to narrative. His questioning after the value of truth and consideration of the social and historical context of philosophical arguments seem to give Rorty a post-modernist twinge.

Perhaps he wanted to challenge the scheme of things, to advocate a sharp rejection of the system and its eventual overcoming. After all, one should not worship false permanence, when the real is the transitory and the transitory real. The term has been so over-used that it is causing more trouble than it is worth.

Nor was he a phenomenologist. Though he took a great interest in Heidegger, he was quite critical of Heidegger at times. For Rorty, these individuals and movements fell short of their own principles: The problem of seeking after essences continues so long as one declares that one has found the real story. The only way to get around this is to stop the search. The answer appears to be to give up all hope of finding any sort of truth. The last two and a half thousand years of argument have been for nothing, then, not only because there was no Form of the Good to find, but because the very question itself is pointless.

In that case, why do philosophy at all? In other words, it assumes that the only good thing to ever come out of philosophy is truth. Given the conventional understanding of philosophy and its mission, this seems obvious.

Richard Rorty

But when historically considered, it also seems perfectly reasonable to say that philosophy has had and can still have good consequences that have little or nothing at all to do with the truth.

Did philosophy not give us the detailed study of ethics? It is from this perspective that Rorty engages the philosophical tradition, by way of an rarely considered within the traditions, anyway type of philosophy called pragmatism.

Pragmatism appeared in the mid-1800s with C.

Peirce as a different way to think about problems within philosophy. Certainly pragmatism existed before that: But to turn it into a complete philosophical position was novel.

After the early 1900s, however, not much was heard about it. Instead people moved on with their arguments about language and reality, and about criticisms of that view. But as metaphysico-lingustic theories started to fall apart, Rorty argues, pragmatism started creeping its way back in: Not only is this what happened to some philosophers such as Wittgenstein and Donald Davidson. According to Rorty, this is how it should be: What will we do without the truth?

And how do we decide what is the best way to live? Can Rorty give a sufficient answer to these questions? Where can one go when all truth has disappeared? When even the attack on truth seems useless, and one can only resort to a shallow pragmatism, can any human being actually live with herself? Well yes, actually, says Rorty. Does that require me to run around like a chicken with my head cut off?

  1. This answer sounds simple and unreflective, but is not. And how do we decide what is the best way to live?
  2. He contended that throughout history humans have devised various means of construing certain groups of individuals as inhuman or subhuman. For a public philosophy , one might turn to Rawls or Habermas.
  3. Achieving Our Country[ edit ] Main article.
  4. Nor does language, said Wittgenstein. What do you do?

Should I no longer be able to get out of bed in the morning, due to the oppressive weight of the terrible truth crushing my very soul?

Why should we care so much about truth? If we can stop obsessing about truth so much, says Rorty, perhaps we can find a better way to spend our energies. If we ever have the courage to drop the scientistic model of philosophy without falling back into a desire for holiness as Heidegger didthen, no matter how dark the time, we shall no longer turn to the philosophers for the rescue as our ancestors turned to the priests.

We shall turn instead to the poets and engineers, to the people who produce startling new projects for achieving the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Such things have since been refuted. Nor does language, said Wittgenstein. Yet even in refutation, the principles of philosophers betray their intentions: In thinking thus they betray their own principles.

But even if one drops the question of a real truth, how can one decide how to live? For Rorty the pragmatist, this is a simple question.

Let us aim for the best society, where people are treated the best, and are freest to do what they want. This answer sounds simple and unreflective, but is not.

People are often quite good at finding a place in life that works for them.

Letting us see the narratives of our own lives as episodes within. For the Rorty philosophy has always been a powerful means of new expression.

Similar books and articles

The greater the experience of the individual and the broader the range of his expression, the greater his abilities to analyze his world and decide what to do with it. With knowledge come options; with options comes power: Those things that do compete with philosophy in expanding the human experience, such as the novel, might be seen with alarm by philosophers. Frankly, says Rorty, philosophers are just going to have to deal with it, because philosophy long ago lost the right to be as important as it claimed itself to be.

Philosophy needs to understand what it does right, which is finding new ways of thinking. We need to remember how deliberation and philosophizing has helped us to become acutely aware of the ethical world: By this standard it is the great creators, those who develop entirely new ways of thinking about the world, who have made the greatest contributions to philosophy. And for that reason, because it has not failed its mission, but rather has a mission that never ends, it still has the right, even the duty, to exist, to expand our world, just as does the poet.