More From the R-Man

A little more Rorty, for your amusement, and for the irritation of people who are irritated by my take on Rorty.

Pragmatism, by contrast, does not erect Science as an idol to fill the place once held by God. It views science as one genre of literature – or, put the other way around, literature and the arts as inquiries, on the same footing as scientific inquiries…Some of these inquiries come up with propositions, some with narratives, some with paintings. The question of what propositions to assert, which pictures to look at, what narratives to listen to…are all questions about what will help us get what we want (or about what we should want.

That’s from Consequences of Pragmatism page xliii. Now a comment from Thomas Nagel, Other Minds page 9.

lately some purveyors of philosophy-made-easy have become world famous…Analytic philosophy has escaped almost completely the facile relativism that seems to be so influential elsewhere in the humanities, originally stirred up by Derrida and now defended by references to Richard Rorty, Paul Feyerabend, and Thomas Kuhn. Philosophy seems to export its worst products…When debased philosophy is very influential elsewhere, the only way to combat it actively is to enter the arena and compete for popular conviction…While I admire those, like Dworkin and Searle, who have the stomach and the talent for this sort of polemic, I have lost what appetite I ever had for it, and hope instead that the current wayve of confusion will subside if we just ignore it.

No doubt Nagel is ignorant of his rudiments of intellectual history, or he wouldn’t be so harsh…[That’s a joke! No, wait, I mean that’s irony. No, sarcasm – no, zany madcap humour – no – ]

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