‘Rorty’s “Continental” Interlocutors,’ contribution to Book Roundtable

Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 67 (162):88-116 (2020)
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Abstract

Clayton Chin provides a helpful reconstruction of Rorty’s philosophy that aims to show its usefulness for political thought, while also shedding light on its relationships with Continental philosophy and on Rorty’s reading strategy employed in relation to some Continental thinkers. In relation to the first aim, Chin argues convincingly that Rorty’s primary contribution to political thought is located at the meta-theoretical level, by which he means the level at which questions may be asked about the nature and purpose of political theorizing. I agree with much of Chin’s account of the nature and value of Rorty’s meta-theoretical approach. I am less convinced by Chin’s account of Rorty’s relations with Continental philosophy and the reading strategies employed in his discussions of those with whom he engaged. There are a number of reasons for this. First, he confines his discussion to a handful of figures that he groups under the heading of ontological approaches to politics and political theory: primarily Martin Heidegger and William Connolly, but also Foucault and Jürgen Habermas. Second, This is the asymmetry in the way in which Rorty is treated compared to the discussion of these interlocutors.

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Paul Patton
University of Paris 8 (PhD)

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References found in this work

Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - The Personalist Forum 5 (2):149-152.
Consequences of Pragmatism.Richard Rorty - 1984 - Erkenntnis 21 (3):423-431.
Philosophy and Social Hope.Richard Rorty - 1999 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 58 (3):714-716.
Respuesta a Jürgen Habermas.Richard Rorty - 2000 - In Robert Brandom (ed.), Rorty and His Critics. Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.

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