The second volume pursues the themes of the first volume in the context of discussions of recent European philosophy focusing on the work of Heidegger and Derrida. His four essays on Heidegger include "Philosophy as Science, as Metaphor and as Politics" and "Heidegger, Kundera, and Dickens;" three essays on Derrida (including "Deconstruction and Circumvention" and "Is Derrida a Transcendental Philosopher?") are followed by a discussion of the uses to which Paul de Man and his followers have put certain Derridean ideas. Rorty's concluding essays broaden outward with an essay on "Freud and Moral Deliberation" and essays discussing the social theories and political attitudes of various contemporary figures--Foucault, Lyotard, Habermas, Unger, and Castoriadis.
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Rorty contends that the European philosophers who rank as Nietzsche's principal successors, most notably Heidegger and Derrida, can be viewed as quite similar to the American pragmatists. Instead of asking, "How does the mind correctly represent the world?" they claim that one should instead ask, "What ideas are useful for us now?" Rorty denies that reality has an essence independent of anyone's way of thinking about it. The nature of something depends on the description one gives it; this in turn is relative to the goals we have. Similarly, our goals vary and do not constitute a fixed edifice determined in advance of our choices to pursue them. Thus, in "Unger, Castoriadis, and a National Future," Rorty celebrates the sense of open possibility and continual experiment that both the political writers he discusses there possess in abundance. Rorty's fascinating presentation of recent intellectual history is impressive in its scope and penetration. Only adherence to its lessons prevents one from calling it "essential" reading. For another assessment of Rorty's views in other areas of philosophy, see his Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers , Vol. 1, reviewed below.--Ed.
- David Gordon, Bowling Green State Univ., Ohio
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Rorty's fascinating presentation of recent intellectual history is impressive in its scope and penetration." Library Journal
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Descripción Cambridge University Press, 1991. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX052135370X
Descripción Cambridge University Press, 1991. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería SONG052135370X