Re: MD Pirsig, Falck, and Wolfram

Date: Thu Aug 14 2003 - 22:22:04 BST

  • Next message: MATTHEW PAUL KUNDERT: "Re: MD Rorty"

    Platt said:
    Suggest you take a another look at Harold Bloom, defender of the
    Western canon and staunch fighter against your hero's deconstructionism
    and multi-culturalism. That he loves his adversaries doesn't mean he
    agrees with them. After all, I love you. :-)

    True, true enough. But my understanding of Bloom is still on target. Rorty is a defender of the Western canon. Bloom is many times counted as being part of deconstructionism, and he is in some sense (Bloom, de Man, J. Hillis Miller, and Geoferry Hartmann were all part of the so-called Yale school of criticism (which came to a head when Derrida visited during the 80s)), though when you get to the level that Bloom, Rorty, de Man, and Derrida are at there will always be differences. And Rorty deplores the same multiculturalism that Bloom and my other favorite leftist pragmatist, Stanley Fish, does.

    All of the objects you cited ("Western canon," "deconstructionism," and "multiculturalism") have to be heavily qualified in these writers' hands (which they do quite admirably, though demagoguic commentators will always ignore the subtleties). As an example, while Bloom, Rorty, and Fish "deplore" multiculturalism, they are not ignorant, close-minded ethnocentrists (as you probably know). They are well-read (particularly Bloom), open-minded ethnocentrists. That means that they acknowledge that other cultures have important things to say, but they don't de-center our culture simply because other cultures exist (which silly multiculturalists do). They are pluralists, not multiculturalists. A very crude way of putting it is that they say you need to be socialized in your own culture before you can go out and learn about others.

    But, yeah, I was mainly just jesting because I was caught quite off-guard. The thing that gets me still is that, you villify Rorty as being a proponent of multiculturalism (as one example of the things you villify Rorty as), but I keep telling you that Rorty and you are closer than you think and I think that, on the main, I'm right. You guys are closer than you think.


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