Re: MD Unofficial Rorty Dictionary

From: Scott R (
Date: Mon Sep 23 2002 - 21:03:03 BST


Some corrections, Matt may have others.

Platt Holden wrote:

> Hi Matt the E:
> Since many of the key words used in your posts are, as you've said,
> "highly idiosyncratic," I've taken it upon myself to "self-create" some
> plain English definitions.
> biconditional - depending on two things happening at once

two things mutually dependent (in logic: A if and only if B)

> contingent - influenced by

dependent on particular circumstances, as opposed to existing (or being
true) everywhere and everywhen

> diversity - different from you

just differences

> essentialism - things everyone should know

the philosophical stance that things have essences (as in that horses
have an essence of horseness). Rorty is anti-essentialist.

> final vocabulary - your everyday speech

One's everyday speech that one isn't about to have changed by someone's
arguments against it.

> historicist - story teller

it's an adjective, as in a historicist position, not a noun. Pretty much
the same as contingent

> historicized - story retold

something is historicized when it's contingency is revealed.

> incorrigibility - stubbornness
> intersubjective - among a group

More like: agreement among a group (to replace "objective").

> ironic - gentle sarcasm

More a recognition of the contingency of one's own position, that "I
could be wrong"

> ironist - enjoys being gently sarcastic
> mediate - compromise
> narrative - story
> nominalist - only words are real

The opposite. A nominalist is one who holds that words are "just" words,
that the map is not the territory, etc. Rorty is a nominalist, I am not.

> Oedipal cycle - love of parent later turned to hate
> plurality - majority

Sometimes people use "majority" to mean "over 50%", while plurality just
means "most" (don't know what this has to do with Rorty, though).

> poeticized - said in an unfamiliar way

Said in an interesting, non-literal way

> poetized - to say differently
> pragmatism - true if useful
> pragmatist - show me it's useful
> recontextualization - rewritten
> recontextualize - rewrite
> self-creation - invention

the reinvention of oneself.

> sensitive - emotional
> solidarity - conformity

See Kevin's and others' posts on this one. I think Rorty uses it to say
that we can agree on a lot of things without appeal to, say, natural
law, or religious rule, or such-like.

- Scott

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