Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 54 (4):668 - 692 (1992)

This essay originated as a reply to Richard Rorty's ”Habermas, Derrida, and the Functions of Philosophy“. In it, I contest Rorty's deployment of the categories of private selfcreation and the collective political enterprise of increasing freedom, first developed in Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, to demonstrate that the philosophical projects of Habermas and Derrida are complementary rather than antagonistic. The focus of my critique is two-fold: firstly, I contend that so-called critiques of metaphysics are always simutaneously engaging with some form of social domination or disintegration (e.g. nihilism or societal rationalization); secondly, I argue that the fault-line in Rorty's thought that structures his categories is his, Davidson inspired, naturalized philosophy of language. This philosophy of language falls afoul of Heidegger's analysis of the present-to-hand
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