Re: MD Rorty and Darwin

Date: Mon Aug 18 2003 - 19:19:11 BST

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    Andy said:
    I haven't totally fallen under Rorty spell. I think there are good questions concerning his philosophy. I just don't think yours are included in that category. I agree with Rorty that Truth is not "out there" waiting to be discovered. That it is a property of language. However, I can think of many reasons why it might be useful to hold such beliefs. I refered to one reason in an earlier post. But another example is modern physics. Would the same strides be made without a belief in subatomic particles and laws describing the relations between them. Having a goal or an aim to inquiry other than wanting to cope in the environmnet could very well be useful. These are the good questions and no pretending is required.

    Say it so, Andy!

    Seriously, though, Rorty wouldn't say that he would have wished that Plato had never existed. It very well may be that we would not have developed science or politics the way we did without philosophy. However, Rorty's bet is that we don't need them anymore, that we can become fully naturalistic, do without God or his doubles.

    And Rorty, I think, would say that the object of our inquiries isn't "coping with our environment." The would be the same hypostatization as making Truth an object of inquiry. Our objects of inquiry are local, particular things. The goal of our inquiries is coping with our environement, which all other things can safely and uncontroversially be reduced to. Predicting the weather and particles and what people will say are all part of "coping with out environment" broadly conceived. The point is to fuzzy things up so that we are just coping with different parts of our environment.


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