July 29th, 2007

Give me rock or give me death

Dawkins and Rorty (deceased)

Rorty died last month and he's a philosopher to whom I'm very sympathetic. Here's my tribute to him and perhaps an explanation as to why I'm undecided about Dawkins. Here's Rorty's definition of an ironist.

1) She has radical and continuing doubts about the final vocabulary she currently uses, because she has been impressed by other vocabularies, vocabularies taken as final by people or books she has encountered; (2) she realizes that argument phrased in her present vocabulary can neither underwrite nor dissolve these doubts; (3) insofar as she philosophizes about her situation, she does not think that her vocabulary is closer to reality than others, that it is in touch with a power not herself.

– Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989, p.73