Sunday, 16 October 2016

Real philosophy?

For the two courses in Philosophy that I'm doing we're battling with Kant and Rorty!  The former is as dense and muddled as anyone can ever be... yet popular and considered a benchmark in Philosophy!  Anyway, too much jargon, too much going not only above the head but above the sky!  Have seriously been thinking if this is the philosophy that I fell in love with!

Anyway, will hold back my horses - after all it is just a week since I'm here.  Should not plan to bomb all the eggs before they're laid!!  After all, I have almost a year to dabble with for my longer and deeper study.

Here's a quote from the same book that I initially would have throw out of the window if it were a hard copy:
In this conception, "philosophy" is not a name for a discipline which confronts permanent issues, and unfortunately keeps misstating them, or attacking them with clumsy dialectical instruments. Rather, it is a cultural genre, a "voice in the conversation of mankind" (to use Michael Oakeshott's phrase), which centers on one topic rather than another at some given time not by dialectical necessity but as a result of various things happening elsewhere in the conversation (the New Science, the French Revolution, the modern novel) or of individual men of genius who think of something new (Hegel, Marx, Frege, Freud, Wittgenstein, Heidegger), or perhaps of the resultant of several such forces. Interesting philosophical change (we might say "philosophical progress," but this would be question-begging) occurs not when a new way is found to deal with an old problem but when a new set of problems emerges and the old ones begin to fade away.  The temptation (both in Descartes's time and in ours) is to think that the new problematic is the old one rightly seen. 
Richard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature 264. 


  1. Hi brother....
    Remember having the same fun with this book during the MPh...Fr Sidny was taking it...enjoyyyy

  2. :D We had to study a tiny bit of Kant and that itself was not a pleasure. This Rorty doesn't sound much better. That's how I got the impression that Philosophy had nothing much to do with real life. Hopefully, Rorty will grow on you. His writing style makes me appreciate technical writing a lot:D


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