Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity

ISBN-10: 0521367816
ISBN-13: 9780521367813
Edition: 1989
Authors: Richard Rorty
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Description: In this book, major American philosopher Richard Rorty argues that thinkers such as Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein have enabled societies to see themselves as historical contingencies, rather than as expressions of underlying, ahistorical human  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.99
Copyright year: 1989
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 2/24/1989
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 220
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

In this book, major American philosopher Richard Rorty argues that thinkers such as Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein have enabled societies to see themselves as historical contingencies, rather than as expressions of underlying, ahistorical human nature, or as realizations of suprahistorical goals. This ironic perspective on the human condition is valuable but it cannot advance Liberalism's social and political goals. In fact, Rorty believes that it is literature and not philosophy that can do this, by promoting a genuine sense of human solidarity. Specifically, it is novelists such as Orwell and Nabokov who succeed in awakening us to the cruelty of particular social practices and individual attitudes. Thus, a truly liberal culture would fuse the private, individual freedom of the ironic, philosophical perspective with the public project of human solidarity as it is engendered through the insights and sensibilities of great writers. Rorty uses a wide range of references--from philosophy to social theory to literary criticism--to elucidate his beliefs.

Richard Rorty is professor of comparative literature and philosophy at Stanford University. He is the author of numerous works, including Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature; Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity; and What's the Use of Truth?Gianni Vattimo teaches hermeneutic philosophy at the University of Turin. Among his books are After Christianity; Nihilism and Emancipation: Ethics, Politics, and Law; Dialogue with Nietzsche; and After the Death of God.Santiago Zabala is the editor of Weakening Philosophy: Essays in Honor of Gianni Vattimoand author of The Hermeneutic Nature of Analytic Philosophyand the forthcoming The Remains of Being.

Preface
Introduction
Contingency
The contingency of language
The contingency of selfhood
The contingency of a liberal community
Ironism and Theory
Private irony and liberal hope
Self-creation and affiliation: Proust, Nietzsche, and Heidegger
From ironist theory to private allusions: Derrida
Cruelty and Solidarity
The barber of Kasbeam: Nabokov on cruelty
The last intellectual in Europe: Orwell on cruelty
Solidarity
Index of names

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