Richard Rorty 1931-2007

Richard Rorty has passed away.

(Rorty had a great influence on my thinking during my Ph.D, particularly his book Contingency, Irony and Solidarity and its ideas about non-representational theory (now of course, more trendy). The discussion of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is amazing and completely illuminates the book.)

Update. Stanford’s announcement here.

NYT here.

Update II. Talking Points Memo Cafe has an obit by Todd Gitlin. In comments, someone makes this observation:

Richard Rorty defended the notions of a progressive, pragmatic left against what he considered to be the defeatism touted by the “critical left,” exemplified by figures like Foucault.

While I am fine with people praising Rorty at the expense of others, I really have to say that I find it puzzling to assert that Foucault “touted” political defeatism. This of course is an old canard. Rorty often engaged with Foucault, (although in his own idiosyncratic manner, for his own purposes, as it should be) but surely never thought of Foucault as a defeatist.

Update III.  Chron. of Higher Ed. has an obit.

2 Responses

  1. “against what he considered to be… like Foucault”

    Classic media-speak, a knowledge without knowledge, so that at dinner parties over the next few weeks people will be citing Rorty against Foucault, knowing now where to locate him in their pantheon…

  2. I always have thought that the best way to pay homage to a philosopher is maintaining his pansy in usely.

    Have not read a great deal to this author, but I consent with the sympathizers of his thought.

    With you.

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