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30 review for Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers (Philosophical Papers (Cambridge)) (Volume 1)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael J.J. Tiffany

    I wrote a long, detailed review of this book, then I realized it was just begging the question. :P

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Sometimes Rorty really annoys the shit out of me. I had the urge to give it two stars but I think further away from being annoyed by his really soft-if-not-questionable politics at the end of the book the more I'd like it. I don't really dig pragmatism either. I felt like Rorty's defense of his inherited project just spins in circles to justify itself. But I think overall the reason Rorty aggravates me so is because by and large I like to agree with him. So this review was more about me than the bo Sometimes Rorty really annoys the shit out of me. I had the urge to give it two stars but I think further away from being annoyed by his really soft-if-not-questionable politics at the end of the book the more I'd like it. I don't really dig pragmatism either. I felt like Rorty's defense of his inherited project just spins in circles to justify itself. But I think overall the reason Rorty aggravates me so is because by and large I like to agree with him. So this review was more about me than the book, but hey...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael A.

    I only read the introduction, "Solidarity or Objectivity?", "Science as Solidarity", "Representation, social practice, and truth" and the entirety of part III which deals with politics. I like Rorty's writing style and in these essays he comes off a lot less snarky to me than in Consequences of Pragmatism (maybe I'm just used to it) and he offers pretty good critiques and level-headed analyses. He has a tendency to deify John Dewey, but if what Rorty says is true about him, no doubt I should lear I only read the introduction, "Solidarity or Objectivity?", "Science as Solidarity", "Representation, social practice, and truth" and the entirety of part III which deals with politics. I like Rorty's writing style and in these essays he comes off a lot less snarky to me than in Consequences of Pragmatism (maybe I'm just used to it) and he offers pretty good critiques and level-headed analyses. He has a tendency to deify John Dewey, but if what Rorty says is true about him, no doubt I should learn more about him (Rorty is also getting me interested in Sellars and Davidson). His antirepresentationalist pragmatist view I take to be pretty solid. His idea of solidarity and ethnocentrism not necessarily being exclusive to one culture ("us" is the community that solidarity is based on, and "us" seems to be all humans - but Rorty is averse to terms like "humanity" I think) are interesting and might lead to interesting political views. Unfortunately, he uses a rather unique "de-epistemologized" notion of truth, rationality, etc. to justify the (admittedly contingent) status quo. He thinks reformist liberal democracy has overall been a success, but Enlightenment thinking and concepts must be jettisoned. This is a unique, but still unsatisfying position. He implicitly shows scorn towards Marxism or people to the left of him. The last essay, a response to Lyotard, is pathetic and the first time I can say I think I saw a professional philosopher make a terrible response. The quote from the essay "Cosmopolitanism without Emancipation": "We Western liberals have had the Gatling gun, and the native has not. So typically we *have* used force rather than persuasion to convince natives of our own goodness. It is useful to be reminded, as Lyotard reminds us, of our customary imperialist hypocrisy [Good stuff]. But [uh oh] it is also the case that we Western liberals have raised up generations of historians of colonialism, anthropologists, sociologists, specialists in the economics of development, and so on, who have explained to us in detail just how violent and hypocritical we have been." It seems to me our customary imperialist hypocrisy is balanced out by the fact that conscientious leftists living in reformist liberal democracy have pointed out the customary imperialist hypocrisy. To be fair, he is not some uncritical cheerleader. He is aware of certain issues with positions he takes, and is modest when he needs to be. Perhaps I misunderstood that passage, but I interpreted it very negatively - I think his whole point was that reformist bourgeois democracy can change from the inside, but we don't even need to be optimistic about this. I do think his critique of the French/Anglo divide on language was very good in this essay. Rorty I think, love him or hate him, a pretty good bridge for analytics to explore Continental and vice versa, regardless of what one thinks of his interpretations or ideas, and usually an entertaining read - especially when he says something bizarre or slightly enraging.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Omar Agha

    This collection of essays tries to do two things at once: First, it is a very well-written, conversational, engaging critique of rationalist realism in Western philosophy. Second, it provides a defense of political liberalism as it exists today (or at least, as it existed in the rich North Atlantic democracies of the late 80's). Rorty convincingly shows that political liberalism can stand on its own without any metaphysical commitments to human rationality or universal moral principles. But he as This collection of essays tries to do two things at once: First, it is a very well-written, conversational, engaging critique of rationalist realism in Western philosophy. Second, it provides a defense of political liberalism as it exists today (or at least, as it existed in the rich North Atlantic democracies of the late 80's). Rorty convincingly shows that political liberalism can stand on its own without any metaphysical commitments to human rationality or universal moral principles. But he assumes that once we accept the first argument, we must follow him into accepting the pragmatist defense of liberalism. For Rorty, all philosophy is "ethnocentric" in the sense that we can never consider ideas that are alien to our culture as "real options." We can pretend to consider such positions, or experiment with them, by voicing or citing them, but we cannot weave them into our web of beliefs without throwing out the whole web. Thus, certain "tensions" and "contradictions" can be accommodated in our belief-web, as long as they are acquired over time and continuously re-analyzed using the tools available to us in each period. Axiomatic philosophy appears as a post-hoc attempt to "commensurate by hindsight" all the thought of our favorite ancestors into an internally consistent system. But such a system is not actually the foundation for the tradition itself, only a contingent and partial description. Thus, philosophical theories should not be judged by how well they fit with a mind-independent reality (that our favorite ancestors were "getting at" or "approaching") but by the institutions and practices they produce. So far, so good. But the argument falls apart when it turns from an analysis of the relationship between political liberalism and liberal philosophy to a justification of political liberalism in its current form. If political philosophy is only as good as the institutions and practices it produces, then why does Rorty shy away from a balanced analysis of the institutions and practices of his society? Rorty holds up the virtues of liberal societies --- open-mindedness, fallibilism, tolerance --- as justifications for the Enlightenment tradition that can outlive their metaphysical foundations. But he fails to consider its less virtuous characteristics as a basis for contesting the future value of our intellectual tradition --- environmental destruction, apartheid, and the capture of social and technological advances for the benefit of a rich minority who hold absolute political power over the many. In my opinion, Rorty's reasoning is effective against the argument that capitalism is bound to collapse due to its internal contradictions. Powerful institutions with a strong material base will not collapse just because they come into conflict with their axiomatic foundations. He is also right that the collapse of liberalism would not, in itself, "prove" that liberalism was always doomed to fail. This particular doctrine about the "contradictions of capitalism" should be questioned. I also appreciate his opposition to the anti-utopianism of certain postmodern leftist philosophers. Rorty gives us nothing more than a clear account of the ability of late capitalist society to jettison its Enlightenment metaphysics and survive more-or-less unscathed.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Pavlogreen

    Rorty no decepciona y esta recopilación de ensayos escritos durante los años 80 ofrece algunas claves importantes para entender su pensamiento tanto epistemológico como político. Demuestra su amplio conocimiento de la tradición analítica y su mirada crítica y superadora sobre la misma y ofrece alternativas integradoras que pasan por una renovación del ideario pragmatista. En asuntos políticos Rorty se destapa como un liberal socialdemócrata y cosmopolita y confronta con la izquierda anticapitali Rorty no decepciona y esta recopilación de ensayos escritos durante los años 80 ofrece algunas claves importantes para entender su pensamiento tanto epistemológico como político. Demuestra su amplio conocimiento de la tradición analítica y su mirada crítica y superadora sobre la misma y ofrece alternativas integradoras que pasan por una renovación del ideario pragmatista. En asuntos políticos Rorty se destapa como un liberal socialdemócrata y cosmopolita y confronta con la izquierda anticapitalista al igual que con el conservadurismo. Independientemente de lo que se piense de sus diferentes posicionamientos (a mí me interesan más los teóricos que los prácticos), está claro que su filosofía es un hito en el pensamiento contemporáneo cuya claridad hace accesible y siempre sugerente.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Hrezo

    Never a Rorty fan, although I have taught as a sort of postmodernism-lite.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carl Gladish

    Rorty is my hero.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shaun

    I teetered between really liked it and really, really liked it. Not quite amazing, but still a great book. I probably would have enjoyed it much more it I have previously read Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (that's in the works.) If you are afraid of question-begging, the de-divinization of science and liberal democracy stand clear; this book is for true pragmatists! I'm overstating things, but, a great follow up of CIS, this book picks up where it left off; on solidarity. In a few words, so I teetered between really liked it and really, really liked it. Not quite amazing, but still a great book. I probably would have enjoyed it much more it I have previously read Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (that's in the works.) If you are afraid of question-begging, the de-divinization of science and liberal democracy stand clear; this book is for true pragmatists! I'm overstating things, but, a great follow up of CIS, this book picks up where it left off; on solidarity. In a few words, solidarity is the relation a human life has to her community as opposed to some nonhuman reality; whether it be God, Truth (with a capital T,)or Reality. The essays in this book reflect that, as well as the role of science in society, Davidson of truth and metaphor, and liberalism as solidarity. Those of you unaware, Rorty is an amalgamation of Donald Davidson, Dewey, Bernard Williams, William James, Friedrich Nietzsche, W.V.O. Quine, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, and Jurgen Habermas with anti-representationalism, anti-realism, anti-rationalism, and liberalism sprinkled in to keep it from being insipid. You do the math.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Giorgi

    it is a very well written book, mostly Rorty is talking about the main ideas of pragmatic philosophy and its practical implication such as solidarity, science and democracy. pragmatism as it is understood by Rorty is not a philosophy at all, but the method of production practical activities. i don't like all of his ideas but his writings are very fascinating. it is a very well written book, mostly Rorty is talking about the main ideas of pragmatic philosophy and its practical implication such as solidarity, science and democracy. pragmatism as it is understood by Rorty is not a philosophy at all, but the method of production practical activities. i don't like all of his ideas but his writings are very fascinating.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marcus Vinicius

    Great book. Rorty exposed his understandings of pragmatism and the role of philosophy. The metaphysicals concepts were put aside. The Stanford's Professor tried to elaborate a democratic conception in which solidarity preceeds objectivity. Great book. Rorty exposed his understandings of pragmatism and the role of philosophy. The metaphysicals concepts were put aside. The Stanford's Professor tried to elaborate a democratic conception in which solidarity preceeds objectivity.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    Had to read this for a class

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Zu

    Rorty as the analytic philosopher ... or the anti-analytic philosopher

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    I love Rorty. This book is a great introduction to pragmatism.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leonard Pierce

    More academic and not as engaging as some of his other works, this is still essential Rorty -- a great way to see his thoughts and theories develop and key for a deeper understanding of his ideas.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ohenrypacey

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Neal

  17. 4 out of 5

    Charles More

  18. 5 out of 5

    John

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dom DeDyllban

  21. 4 out of 5

    Toby

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ervinos

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stefan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tomasz

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jóhann Helgi

  26. 5 out of 5

    Greggory Moore

  27. 5 out of 5

    Diana Salles

  28. 4 out of 5

    Teemu Taira

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Reid

  30. 5 out of 5

    Raul Sanchez cervilla

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