By Richard M. Rorty
From Library Journal
Rorty propounds, and faces squarely the results of, a relativistic, non-essentialist view of guy and society. For him, attitudes, values, ideals, and practices are contingent phenomena of a selected time, position, and tradition, none of that is inherently higher or worse than the other. there's irony within the undeniable fact that you may become aware of this, but nonetheless wish, and paintings for, "human solidarity" and freedom. How those positions may be reconciled is the topic of this crucial ebook, no longer incidental to that are interesting discussions of Hegel, Heidegger, Habermas, Nietzsche, Nabokov, Freud, Dickens, and Orwell, between others. this can be Rorty at his so much stimulating, and he emerges as an enormous political theorist.
- Leon H. Brody, U.S. workplace of team of workers administration Lib., Washington, D.C.
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Additional resources for Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity
Metaphor, linguistic novelty, seems out of place when one turns from simply relishing such novelty to explaining why these novelties, and not others, occurred. " Even in the sciences,metaphoric redescriptions are the mark of genius and of revolutionary leaps forward. If we follow up this Kuhnian point by thinking, with Davidson, of the literalmetaphorical distinction as the distinction between old language and new language rather than in terms of a distinction between words which latch on to the wodd and those which do not, the paradox vanishes.
S . X X , r r 5 . XVII,88. 3r CONTINGENCY other members of our species, but as channeled in very specific ways toward very specific sorts of people and very particular vicissitudes. He thus helps us understand how we can take endless pains to help one friend and be entirely oblivious of the greater pain of another, one whom we think we love quite as deady. He helps explain how someone can be both a tender mother and a merciless concentration-camp guard, or be a just and temperate magistrate and also a chilly, rejecting father.
It would give us a goal, the only possible goal, namely, the full recognition of that very necessity,the self-consciousnessof our essence. In comparison with this universal impress, so the pre-Nietzschean philosopher's story goes, the particular contingencies of individual lives are unimportant. The mistake of the poets is to waste words on idiosyncrasies, on contingencies - to tell us about accidental appearance rather than essential reality. To admit that mere spatiotemporal location, mere contingent circumstance, mattered would be to reduce us to the level of a dying animal.
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity by Richard M. Rorty