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Title: The question of self-creation
Authors: Kwiek, Marek
Keywords: Richard Rorty
public-private split
American neopragmatism
Consequences of Pragmatism
philosophy as conversation
liberal ironist
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity
Consequences of Pragmatism
Jacques Derrida
Michel Foucault
Vladimir Nabokov
John Rawls
Issue Date: 1996
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Naukowe IF UAM
Citation: In: Marek Kwiek, Rorty’s Elective Affinities. The New Pragmatism and Postmodern Thought. Wydawnictwo Naukowe IF UAM. 1996. pp. 86-103.
Abstract: I would like to take into consideration in this chapter the possibility of Richard Rorty's evolution of views in terms of - suggested by him - distinction between the private and the public as well as in terms of his dichotomous pair of "solidarity" and "self-creation". My efforts would aim at showing that Rorty as a commentator on other philosophers is more and more inclined to value the significance of a self-creational, developing one's "final vocabulary" way of philosophizing, while on the other hand - as a philosopher himself he has remained as far as the private sphere goes - in his own philosophizing - rather moderate and full of reserve. Thus I would like to trace two roles possible in a philosophical language game - to have a look at Rorty’s account of particular philosophers as heroes of the philosophical tradition and to have a look at Rorty himself in the role of a philosopher in a traditional sense of the term, that is to say, interested in the so-called "philosophical problems, "eternal, perennial problems of philosophy", generally - a language game of Philosophy with a capital "p” (to use the opposition between "post-Philosophical philosophy" and "Philosophy" from Consequences of Pragmatism). First, we would have to outline briefly the Rortyan sense of particular elements of the aforementioned dichotomies, explain a little the concepts from Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity that interest us in this chapter. Let us begin by saying that Rorty - distinguishing between writers of self-creation (such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger or Nabokov) on the one hand and writers of solidarity (such as Marx, Mill, Habermas or Rawls) on the other - advises us not to attempt to make choices between the two kinds, not to oppose the two camps and rather, as he puts it, to "give them equal weigh and then use them for different purposes".
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