Friday, May 23, 2008

Paparella, Emanuel L. "Richard Rorty's Unflinching Critique of Modern Western Philosophy." OVI MAGAZINE May 19, 2008.

While writing a Ph.D. dissertation at Yale University on immanence and transcendence in Giambattista Vico’s concept of Providence I serendipitously discovered the late Richard Rorty’s Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979). What first attracted my attention to that particular book was Rorty’s rejection of the Cartesian mind-body split with which Vico’s too begins his New Science. To be sure he had already written another important book in 1967 titled The Linguistic Turn in which he had introduced a skeptical attitude about the nature and place of philosophical enquiry while remaining within the field of analytic philosophy, but here was a courageous critique of analytic philosophy and by implication of the role and importance of traditional philosophy in modern culture. That book eventually was seen as Rorty’s most important work in which he dismisses Cartesian representationalism, the notion that the mind reflects some objective reality outside itself. Philosophy is only important for pragmatic reasons, for how useful it is in helping a culture achieve its aims. . . . Read the rest here:

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