Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fyffe, Richard. "Conversational Constraints: Richard Rorty and Contemporary Critical Theory." ACRL (January 1996).

Rorty's own work be read as an attempt to introduce the vocabulary of what he calls a post-philosophical culture to replace the "objective" ideals of science and Philosophy. Such a culture, he says, would be thoroughly literary -- erasing C.P. Snow's famous split between science and literature. Rorty characterizes this culture as one in which "neither the priests nor the physicists nor the poets nor the Party were thought of as more 'rational' or more 'scientific' or 'deeper' than ... another. No particular portion of culture would be singled out as exemplifying (or signally failing to exemplify) the condition to which the rest aspired." (COP xxxviii). "A post-Philosophical culture, then, would be one in which men and women felt themselves alone, merely finite, with no links to something Beyond. . . . [It would 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" (COP xlii-xliii). Post- Philosophical culture, Rorty concludes, thus amounts to "a study of the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the various ways of talking which our race has invented. It looks, in short, much like what is sometimes called 'culture criticism'" (COP xl). . . . Read the rest here: http://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/dspace/bitstream/1808/972/1/Conversational%20Constraints%20ALA.pdf.

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