Pining Away in the Midst of Plenty: The Irony of Rorty's Either/Or Philosophy
Hedgehog Review (Summer 2016) 18:2, pp.76-80
4 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2016
Date Written: 2016
In this response to Rorty’s lecture, “Universalist Grandeur and Analytic Philosophy,” Haack argues first that we are not obliged to choose, as Rorty assumes, either clarity or relevance, either truth-seeking or aspiration, meliorism, either science or poetry, either nature or culture, but can and should seek a philosophy that has room for all of these; and then that, before the rivalry of analytic vs. continental philosophy took hold, the philosophers of the classical pragmatist tradition had shown the way to a rich philosophy of Both/And. Quoting Peirce on how an unclear idea in a person’s head acts like an obstruction in an artery, “condemning its victim to pine away…in the midst of intellectual plenty,” Haack concludes that Rorty has succumbed to just this sad fate.
Keywords: C. S. Peirce, Richard Rorty, pragmatism, philosophy
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