Sunday, June 17, 2007

This is the two hundreth post (yay)

As I said earlier, this could become a full-time job. After the biography of Socrates provided by The Gates of Vienna, here comes the Maxim Institute's obituary of Richard Rorty:
Following in the wake of Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche as part of the post-modern movement, Rorty solidified the idea that we cannot know anything with certainty.
I am not even going to start. Harvest Bird links to Rorty's Obit in the NYT; Danny Postel remembers Rorty here; the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy discusses Rorty here. If all that is not enough, Rorty's home page is here.


Anonymous said...

So what's your point? If I recall my undergrad studies correctly, Kant developed post-modernism right right around the time Charles Darwin split the atom and Queen Victoria invented the steam engine.

harvestbird said...

The hammer Darwin used to split the atom can now be seen in the Museum of British Oddities, which is directly behind the Victoria and Albert.

Paul, I'm starting to regret the Princess Diana-related admission I tacked on to my Rorty link. At least one aggregator with a page on Rorty obituaries has it there in amongst the serious discussion. We know the internet strips away irony, but archness too? (Actually, the reactions of some of your commenters in recent posts ought to have confirmed the latter for me.)

And in the fish/barrel olympics (and what looks to become my ongoing picking off of Maxim's metaphors): can one really solidify ideas that relate to uncertainty? Really?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and apparently Amanda McGrail of the MI has gotten hitched and gone off to the UK...

Craig Y

Anonymous said...

The hammer Darwin used to split the atom can now be seen in the Museum of British Oddities, which is directly behind the Victoria and Albert.

Not quite. After restoration following a 1972 attack by bible-wielding 'physicist' Laszlo Toth, Darwin's hammer received a replacement handle.

Anonymous said...

Not encountered Rorty before but Maxim Institute has given plenty of reasons why he should be applauded. What a great thinker.

Interesting news on Amanda McGrail. Lose one, find another, I suppose. Evangelicals are still in good supply I think,

Anonymous said...

Actually it’s fair to say that Kant was a forerunner to post modernism. According to the more traditional “he two worlds interpretation” of Kant’s thought in the Critique of Pure Reason Kant’s view is that the pehnominal world is constructed by the human mind. None of the categories of thought apply to the world as it is in and of itself but are imposed upon it by human cognition.

It’s not difficult to develop this claim in the direction that truth and reality are ultimately social constructions. A view associated with Rorty’s famous claim that “truth is whatever your peers will let you get away with thinking”

Nor are Maxim alone in making this link between Kant and Postmodernity. Alvin Plantinga , a former president of the US philosophical association, has made it in several places.

This is nowhere near as great as Dr. Bill Cooke’s portrayal of Socrates and Plato as great humanist thinkers who advocated a free tolerant society at a debate at Auckland Uni a few years ago. That had me laughing for ages.

Owen said...

Re Maxim: have a look at