After The Demise Of The Tradition: Rorty, Critical Theory, by Kai Nielsen

By Kai Nielsen

Addressing the "end-of-philosophy" debate and the problem it offers to modern philosophy, this publication attracts on Wittgenstein, Quine, Davidson, Habermas and Foucault, between others. It develops the results of Richard Rorty's arguments particularly and gives a reaction: the improvement of a holistic, anti-foundationalist account of philosophy that engages serious thought and extensive reflective equilibrium in carving out a good position for a brand new form of philosophy.

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Extra resources for After The Demise Of The Tradition: Rorty, Critical Theory, And The Fate Of Philosophy

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Philosophy, as epistemology, must set universal standards of rationality and objectivity for all actual and possible claims to knowledge. (590) Kinl agrees, as does Hacking, that Rorty's attack is well directed against both the Cartesian and the Kantian components. 2 Philosophers trying to defend or save something from the Tradition would, Kim believes, do well to abandon these two components as well as the "queen of the sciences" conception that goes with them and to concentrate on (a) a defense of a more modest conception of philosophy as the handmaiden of science and (b) a defense of Platonic doctrine concerning truth and knowledge.

Kim characterizes them as follows: 39 The Tradition in Retreat 40 1. 2. 3. The Platonic doctrine is a doctrine concerning t1Uth and knowledge, according to which truth is correspondence with nature, and knowledge is a matter of possessing accurate representations. (589) The Cartesian doctrine is the doctrine of the Dlind as the private inner stage, "the Inner Mirror," in which cognitive action takes place. The Platonic doctrine of knowledge as representation was transformed into the idea of knowledge as inner representation of outer reality.

But he has not shown us how philosophy has, or can CODle to have, even in ideal conditions, its own standards of argumentation and relevance; standards that will enable us to criticize our culture, critique the institutions of our society, or be arbiters of legitimacy claims in society. Whether philosophy can in any coherent way have an overseer role is what is at issue. Even with such a critical incapacity (if such is the case), philosophy may be an issue vis-a-vis other disciplines in still another way.

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