Richard Rorty

George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University

[Note 13 to Chapter 1 in print version. © the Johns Hopkins University Press 1992.

I am thinking of Richard Rorty's description in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, 378, of edifying philosophy as a conversation: "To see keeping a conversation going as a sufficient aim of philosophy, to see wisdom as consisting in the ability to sustain a conversation, is to see human beings as generators of new descriptions rather than beings one hopes to be able to describe accurately. To see the aim of philosophy as truth -- namely, the truth about the terms which provide ultimate commensuration for all human inquiries and activities -- is to see human beings as objects rather than subjects, as existing en-soi rather than as both pour-soi and en-soi, as both described objects and describing subjects." To a large extent, Rorty can be thought of as the philosopher of hypertextuality.


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