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Philosophy as Cultural Politics: Philosophical Papers, Vol.4 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0521698351
ISBN-10: 0521698359
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Philosophy as Cultural Politics: Philosophical Papers, Vol.4 + Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers (Philosophical Papers (Cambridge)) (Volume 1) + Truth and Progress: Philosophical Papers (Philosophical Papers (Cambridge)) (Volume 3)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...this important volume of his Philosophical Papers is to be recommended as a resource on familiar and unfamiliar topics in the Rortian philosophy." --Francesco Tampoia: Philosophy in Review

Book Description

This volume presents a selection of philosophical papers which Richard Rorty has written over the past decade. Topics discussed include the changing role of philosophy in Western culture over the course of recent centuries, the role of the imagination in intellectual and moral progress, and the notion of 'moral identity'.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (January 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521698359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521698351
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Shaun King.com on February 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the 4th volume of Rorty's Philosophical Papers, and the 1st volume since his retirement from Stanford University. This 4th collection is not as summoning as his 3rd, and although it is as diverse in topics as the 3rd collection it is not as specific in its topics compared to the 3rd or 2nd collection.

Rorty has etched out his place in contemporary philosophy by arguing much to the same critique of philosophy for over 20 years. But he has had many interesting ideas (with their inherent controversies). What has increased is the diversity of the subject matter that he considers relevant to his overall themes, and also, he writes more elegantly and simply than he used to write (compare this volume with the collection in Consequences of Pragmatism: Essays, 1972-1980).
I will give a summary of each argument in each essay by finding the most representative quote within each essay....If these arguments do not interest you, but you're still interested in Rorty, I would suggest Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (a critique of representationalism), Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Rorty's infamous "liberal ironist"), and Achieving Our Country : Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America (Rorty's political manifesto).
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Bolton on February 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is Rorty in his later years. It makes for at wonderful summing up. Because he has said the same things again and again, there is a delightful lightness to his tone. The many ramifications of his cumulative research have become clearer. I think Rorty is almost hated by some of his professional colleagues. I am not a professional philosopher, so I cannot comment on his many sins. But as a working psycholgist I love his work. He has made many of my "epistemological sins" clear. And over the years reading his books has changed me. I think this book along with "Philosophy and Social Hope" give the easiest access to his work. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael G. Shafto on July 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
It is somewhat ironic that Rorty often referred to Donald Davidson as his "favorite philosopher". It was far from certain that Davidson returned the favor. In fact, it often seemed that Davidson felt acutely co-opted or revised by Rorty. In any case, Davidson and Rorty shared a kind of ambivalence toward Philosophy, even as they contributed strongly to the best core traditions of that discipline. That is, both Davidson and Rorty felt some allegiance to disciplines (or departments) other than Philosophy -- Davidson to Psychology and Rorty to Literary Criticism and the Humanities. But in both cases, their stances were philosophical, in the best sense, in that they were unwilling to hide behind "scientific", "logical", or other artificially formal intellectual technologies. In short, as philosophers they took a flat-footed stance in confronting experience with language. The experience and the language were finally grounded in the experience and language shared by all human beings.

In Rorty's later works, his overall approach had a direct emotional appeal, not just a logical appeal. The foundation of his arguments was not of the old-school sort; it was neither logical or scientific. Rather, it was an appeal to shared experience and shared interpretation. In one sense he was on shaky ground. Nothing could be "proved". Nevertheless, Rorty was reaching for -- and in his best later work reached -- a foundation more compelling and more universal than science or logic. His arguments were based on a profound knowledge and understanding of human history, expressed and analyzed in engaging and conversational prose.

His best essays in this volume (and see also Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America) are reminiscent of personal letters from that smarter roommate we all had in college -- someone we could trust to enlighten us, someone we could assume was right when we didn't get it at first.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By W. Jamison VINE VOICE on March 12, 2007
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More fantastic essays by the wordsmith who says everything just as beautifully as you would say it if only you had thought of it first.
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John M. Giannone on March 19, 2007
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In the work of Richard Rorty, I have found great support for my own treatment of important matters in philosophy. Had I not thought, as I do,that
realism is just so much well-entrenched sci-fi, I might not have gone back to Rorty and Rorty's et alia (in Truth and Progress and Consequences of Pragmatism) However, having said this much, I should add that if one wants Rorty in depth, read something else, but do not ignore this work. For those who, like myself, are unfamiliar with many of Rorty's invited guests, the work is simple and important. We owe Rorty a debt.
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