Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rorty, Socrates, and Nietzsche

Withywindle posted something on Rorty today. FLG has never read Rorty, but from what he's heard, isn't really all that interested in reading him. But FLG thought that wasn't fair. Perhaps he ought to give Rorty a chance. So, he found this video on YouTube. If you jump to the 8:35 mark, Rorty talks about how modern intellectuals are more aligned with the the ideas of Nietzsche, self-creation, rather than Socratic self-discovery. That pretty much does it. FLG will get around to reading Rorty after about 500 other thinkers.

UPDATE: Here's his dissing Plato and Christianity, in an argument that sounds very much like Comte to FLG. On the other hand, he is arguing in favor of a long time horizon. So, I can't completely hate him.


The Ancient said...

What a wonderful man to manage so much wisdom with such a light touch.

It never occurred to me -- not once, ever -- that Christians and Jews were uninterested in the material conditions they would bequeath to their descendants. Nor did I realize that the bulk of the material progress of the last 2000 years was due to Pragmatists acting in concert with science and technological innovation.

I was happy to learn, however, that Pragmatism was willing to take personal responsibility for the French Revolution -- the butcher's bill for which has been running ever since.

FLG: Go play in the NYT Archives: Find the invariably gaseous things Rorty wrote on "public affairs" in the last fifteen years of his life.

Withywindle said...

I think you are excessively harsh on the man.

Andrew Stevens said...

To be fair, Rorty actually says that Pragmatism is a child of the French Revolution (and belief in progress generally), not the father.

The principal usefulness of Richard Rorty is that, arising as he did from the analytic tradition, he was not ignored by analytic philosophy, so one can study, for example, Hilary Putnam through the medium of Rorty if Rorty's philosophy interests you. And Putnam is well worth studying, although, like most analytic philosophers, he does not have a Grand Theory of Everything, not even a negative one like Rorty. Putnam's kindly and sympathetic evisceration of Rorty's philosophy is far better than anything I could offer.

The Ancient said...

Withy –

“Excessively harsh”? Just wait until FLG gets around to reading what Rorty has to say about Plato and his Theory of Forms.

Andrew --

Point taken.

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