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Title: Philosophical Excursus I. Seriousness, play, and fame (on Rorty’s Derrida)
Authors: Kwiek, Marek
Keywords: Richard Rorty
Jacques Derrida
American pragmatism
new pragmatism
French postmodernism
strong reading
liberal ironist
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity
the public/private split
solidarity and self-creation
philosophy and literature
social engagement
public intellectual
postwar French philosophy
Rorty and Continental Philosophy
strong misreading
anxiety of influence
strong poet
Harold Bloom
the Kant-Plato canon
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
Philosophy as a Kind of Writing
Consequences of Pragmatism
From Ironist Theory to Private Allusions: Derrida
The Postcard
Deconstruction and Circumvention
Specters of Marx
The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity
Issue Date: 1996
Citation: "Philosophical Excursus I. Seriousness, play, and fame (on Rorty’s Derrida)". In: Marek Kwiek, "Rorty's Elective Affinities. The New Pragmatism and Postmodern Thought". Poznan: IF UAM. 1996, pp. 59-85.
Abstract: Reading numerous readings of Jacques Derrida made by Richard Rorty during the period of the last twenty years or so, one can get the impression that Rorty admires French deconstructionist without reservations, presenting him as an example of a new way of practising philosophy - a way which is private, idiosyncratic and publicly uncommitted, which is original, but publicly useless, which, finally, leads to individual autonomy. A way leading to self-creation, getting out of the influence and power of one’s precursors by way of a para-Oedipal struggle of a son with a father (which is the motive of "strong poets" from Harold Bloom’s The Anxiety of Influence). Derrida in Rorty would be supposed to break with Heidegger in the way Heidegger tried to overcome Nietzsche, and Nietzsche struggled with Plato. And just like Nietzsche wished to be a new figure of a philosopher who "philosophizes with a hammer", but in Heidegger’s reading turned out to be merely "the last metaphysician" and "inverted Platonic", similarly Heidegger in the eyes of Derrida is not - despite the former’s assurance and unshakeable self-confidence - the first post-metaphysical thinker, but precisely the "last metaphysician", the last figure from the "ontotheological tradition" being destroyed or from the tradition of the "metaphysics of presence". Derrida overcomes Heidegger, Rorty reminds us, when he is trying to be the first post-metaphysical philosopher e.g. when he says that "there will be no unique name, even if it were the name of Being" ("Differance"), about which, incidentally, he already spoke as a broader project in a volume of interviews entitled Positions, telling his interviewer that he is attempting to locate in Heidegger’s texts "the signs of belonging to metaphysics". But philosophical search for fame - and hence immortality - leads to an infinite number of recontextualizations and redescriptions, to new readings fighting with old ones, and the characters of philosophical stories being told are philosophers who are closer and closer to us. And just like Jacques Derrida was not willing to leave Heidegger in peace until he overcame him (although he is still struggling with him), putting himself in a new light, similarly Richard Rorty relentlessly bites in his own way Derrida’s philosophizing.
Appears in Collections:Artykuły naukowe (WNS)

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