Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Lee, Jung H. Review of Yong Huang, ed. RORTY, PRAGMATISM AND CONFUCIANISM. NDPR (September 2009).
Huang, Yong, ed. Rorty, Pragmatism, and Confucianism, with Responses by Richard Rorty. Albany: SUNY Press, 2009. The essays in this volume stem from a conference held on "Rorty, Pragmatism, and Chinese Philosophy" in Shanghai as the culminating event of Rorty's lecture tour of China in 2004. The selected papers include contributions on Rorty's views on epistemology, relativism, moral philosophy, human nature, religion, and socio-political philosophy. All of the essays attempt to weave Rorty's ideas into a conversation with Chinese philosophy in general and Confucian thinkers (most notably Confucius and Mencius) in particular. As the editor notes in his deft introduction, "some have found surprising similarities, while others notice unignorable differences; some try to use Confucianism to modify Rorty's ideas, while others try to appropriate Rorty's philosophy to update Confucianism" (2). The volume concludes with a sober set of responses by Rorty to his critics that gives pause to those who would wish to see Rorty as a latter day Confucian or, worse, see Confucius or Mencius as a former day Rortian. Although the quality of the essays is uneven at times, the work as a whole is a solid contribution in comparative philosophy and contemporary Confucian studies. . . . Read the rest here: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=17446.