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262

Afterword

Pragmatism, Pluralism and Postmodernism

3
terms
2
notes

M. Rorty, R. (2000). Afterword. In M. Rorty, R. Philosophy and Social Hope. Penguin, pp. 262-287

269

The link between Darwinism and pragmatism is clearest if one asks oneself the following question: At what point in biological evolution did organisms stop just coping with reality and start representing it? To pose the riddle is to suggest the answer: Maybe they never did start representing it. Maybe the whole idea of mental representation was just an uncashable and unfruitful metaphor. Maybe this metaphor was inspired by the same need to get in touch with a powerful nonhuman authority which made the priests think themselves more truly human than the warriors. Maybe, now that the French and Industrial Revolutions have given human beings a new self-confidence, they can drop the idea of representing reality and substitute the idea of using it.

the way he writes is like the way I wish I could write

—p.269 by Richard M. Rorty 2 years, 10 months ago

The link between Darwinism and pragmatism is clearest if one asks oneself the following question: At what point in biological evolution did organisms stop just coping with reality and start representing it? To pose the riddle is to suggest the answer: Maybe they never did start representing it. Maybe the whole idea of mental representation was just an uncashable and unfruitful metaphor. Maybe this metaphor was inspired by the same need to get in touch with a powerful nonhuman authority which made the priests think themselves more truly human than the warriors. Maybe, now that the French and Industrial Revolutions have given human beings a new self-confidence, they can drop the idea of representing reality and substitute the idea of using it.

the way he writes is like the way I wish I could write

—p.269 by Richard M. Rorty 2 years, 10 months ago

ridiculous, foolish

269

The idea that we have a moral duty to correspond to reality is, for Nietzsche andJames, as stultifYing as the idea that the whole duty of man is to please God.

—p.269 by Richard M. Rorty
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

The idea that we have a moral duty to correspond to reality is, for Nietzsche andJames, as stultifYing as the idea that the whole duty of man is to please God.

—p.269 by Richard M. Rorty
notable
2 years, 10 months ago
273

A Deweyan response to such a postcolonial sceptic would go something like this: Sure, pragmatism and utilitarianism might never have gotten off the ground without a boost from colonialist and imperialist triumphalism. But so what? The question is not whether the popularity of these philosophical views was the product of this or that transitory hold on power, but whether anybody now has any better ideas or any better utopias. We pragmatists are not arguing that modem Europe has any superior insight into eternal, ahistorical realities. We do not claim any superior rationality. We claim only an experimental success: we have come up with a way of bringing people into some degree of comity, and of increasing human happiness, which looks more promising than any other way which has been proposed so far.

—p.273 by Richard M. Rorty 2 years, 10 months ago

A Deweyan response to such a postcolonial sceptic would go something like this: Sure, pragmatism and utilitarianism might never have gotten off the ground without a boost from colonialist and imperialist triumphalism. But so what? The question is not whether the popularity of these philosophical views was the product of this or that transitory hold on power, but whether anybody now has any better ideas or any better utopias. We pragmatists are not arguing that modem Europe has any superior insight into eternal, ahistorical realities. We do not claim any superior rationality. We claim only an experimental success: we have come up with a way of bringing people into some degree of comity, and of increasing human happiness, which looks more promising than any other way which has been proposed so far.

—p.273 by Richard M. Rorty 2 years, 10 months ago

(noun) the use of more words than those necessary to denote mere sense (as in the man he said); redundancy

276

Many of my fellow philosophers use the term 'postmodernist relativism' as if it were a pleonasm

—p.276 by Richard M. Rorty
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

Many of my fellow philosophers use the term 'postmodernist relativism' as if it were a pleonasm

—p.276 by Richard M. Rorty
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

not generated; self-existent; innate

276

people whose convictions are archaic and ingenerate

—p.276 by Richard M. Rorty
confirm
2 years, 10 months ago

people whose convictions are archaic and ingenerate

—p.276 by Richard M. Rorty
confirm
2 years, 10 months ago