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La filosofia dopo la filosofia: Contingenza, ironia e solidarietà

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  1,931 ratings  ·  97 reviews
La filosofia non pretende di spiegare la realtà, ma solo di scriverla, di parlarne come ogni altro linguaggio.
Paperback, Sagittari Laterza, 263 pages
Published 1998 by Laterza (first published February 24th 1989)
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Jul 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I was at work a week or so ago and my boss got me to track down a quote by this guy and then to read over the article the quote was from. The article is here:

Anyway, I’ve tended to avoid American pragmatists since a bad experience in my undergrad degree. But I’ve been reading lots of Dewey – you sort of have to if you are going to be doing anything around the sociology of education – and then the article above was so interesting that I thought I might rea
Jul 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as a challenge to myself. An engineering education tends to engender a Manichean sensibility, as solutions are either correct or incorrect. When Richard Rorty died in 2007, I read a profile that classified him as that worst pariah of American middle-class sensibility - a relativist. But, there was a definite measure of respect for the positions he took. So I decided to give him a try, hoping to open my mind, but expecting to dance gleefully on his bleeding heart.

Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
I felt the author was mocking his reader and had contempt for their intelligence.

Rorty makes the true, the good and the deserving contingent on the vocabulary and the metaphors subscribed by the current crop of intellectuals which become subject to being subsumed and replaced until a cleverer set of word games come in to vogue. Contrary to Rorty, I would state that reality is complex, and that our beliefs are not just the result of clever word games as Rorty tries to convince his reader.

By mak
Shane Eide
Mar 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The late Richard Rorty scandalized people with his ‘relaxed attitude’ when it came to truth. He was often charged with terms like ‘flippant’ and ‘relativistic.’ To rest at such a description of Rorty as a thinker would be to ignore his contribution to the dialogue of liberal thought, and also, to entertain the most refined prejudice of one contingent vocabulary. Contingent vocabularies are what this book is all about. In Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, Rorty sets out to
robin friedman
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Visit With Richard Rorty

I attended a philosophy conference last month on the theme of "Metaphysics and Political Thought" and heard many thoughtful papers including a paper about the American philosopher Richard Rorty (1931 -- 2007). I learned a great deal from Rorty's "Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature" many years ago. The presentation I heard at the conference focused on Rorty's 1989 book "Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity" which I purchased while attending the conference and tried to rea
Thomas Bundy
Rorty posits a philosophy that in internally inconsistent, and ultimately, cowardly. To the degree that people can create their own ironic selves, they will necessarily tend to destroy solidarity. His notion of solidarity contradicts the contingent, ironic existences he argues that we have. He just doesn't LIKE that self-creators will come along that will increase suffering, so he creates a scheme that rejects their projects.

The purpose of this ideal liberal society is to eradicate cruelty and s
070813: fascinating meta-philosophy critique, about entire tendencies in thought towards metaphysician- here a bad thing- and the ironist- generally a good thing- but I can see how he could annoy those who are searching for some kind of holistic certainty, some way of thought that is atemporal, usually given capitals whether thick or thin, according to your particular final vocabulary...

so he does not refer to my favourite philosopher, so he gets things out of Heidegger, Nietzsche, even Kant, wh
Jun 28, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: assigned-reading
The arrogant musings of a left-wing social philosopher who essentially divides people into three categories: dumb bunnies, common-sensers, and people who have the deep insight to agree with him. The only take-home message worth taking home was that philosophy is not as effective a vehicle for ideas as literature, which I knew beforehand.
Darran Mclaughlin
Outstanding. This is the closest that a work of philosophy has ever come to reflecting my own personal beliefs. Rorty was an analytical philosopher in the Anglo-American tradition that had a 'road to Damascus' conversion to Continental philosophy. His writing is in the tradition of Nietzsche, Heidegger and Derrida combined with the Pragmatists, but he writes very clearly. He writes in such a way as to express exactly what he means to say, without ducking behind vague and complex language like ma ...more
Paul Ataua
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I read about every five years, and for some reason, it always feels fresh. If I made a Venn diagram of Rorty’s and my ideas, we would probably share a space of about thirty percent, so there is a lot of disagreement there, but that isn’t the point. The book is not easy , but it is accessible, and virtually every page stimulates thought. A mind-blowing trip through Davidson and Wittgenstein on language, Freud and Nietzsche on identity. Foucault and Habermas, Proust, Heidegger, Derr ...more
Oh my, this was an interesting one. So much of what Rorty said, I agreed with to a T. Things that seem so obvious, but in the ordinary sphere of discourse are always clouded by metaphysical bullshit. The one thing he said that I couldn't jibe with (and I don't know whether I disagree with it or not, it was certainly disconcerting) was his notion of a divide between private ironism and public non-ironism. Either way, his whole thesis is very interesting and thought-provoking, and, to phrase it in ...more
Matthew Gallaway
Rorty's conception of language and fiction changed my life. Five fucking stars.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone better versed in the Continental tradition, my perception of what I was told was "analytic" philosophy has varied from curiosity, to hesitant respect, to disdain. I can now say that, insofar as this book is an "analytic" work, it is expansive, eclectic and eye-opening to what sorts of philosophy can be done; it has especially piqued an interest in me for Pragmatism. If you know way more about Heidegger than Wittgenstein and feel that's a good thing, I urge you to read this.

As for the
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thesis, philosophy
Rorty makes a sympathetic case for a liberal utopia in which we should realize that the vocabularies we use (e.g.: our value, and beliefsystems as mediated by our socialization and language) are contingent and must be kept open to revision. This makes them equal, because no vocabulary is privileged, nor can a vocabulary be legitimized from a neutral, objective standpoint. There are thus no "true"meta-vocabularies.

We should therefore not base our beliefs and actions about for instance solidarity
Nick Wellings
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
            The publication of Contingency Irony, Solidarity seems to have been a major event in philosophy. It seems that many philosophers were scandalised, angry or offended by the text and its position. It was true to say that to read CIS was to encounter an intellectually brave and morally novel work like nothing I have read before. Why?
Rorty wants to show us a preffered state of society. To do this Contingency Irony Solidarity (CIS) thumbs its nose at a lot of sacred cows. Rorty attempts
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolute must-read for any student (or fan) of the analytic tradition in Western philosophy.

Rorty criticizes not only basic assumptions in the Enlightenment tradition's approach towards examining meaning, speech and truth but also how this approach that we've inherited is flawed in understanding itself and other systems of thought. If all this sounds excessively obtuse, I hope you take my word it isn't. The implications of these ideas range not only from the political and sociological but al
Fraser Kinnear
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This strange title is actually a remarkably concise summary of the entire book. We can pair Rorty’s three nouns “Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity” with “Problem, Solution, Application”. What to each of these words mean to this author?

Rorty uses ideas from pragmatist,continental and analytic philosophy to argue that our understanding of the world is contingent on the limitations of our language (Wittgenstein / Donald Davidson), as is the purpose of our own life and the source of our morality (N
Geoffrey Fox
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rorty is a delightfully stimulating conversation companion, starting a conversation in my head as I read and recognize many observations and have to puzzle over others. In three major sections, he presents his view of how we humans can struggle for personal liberation — he calls it autonomy, which I think is good — without losing sight of our commitment to the well-being of others, that is, solidarity. Our only way of doing either is through language, by which we create our descriptions of the w ...more
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rorty's main contribution in this book is to give us a ladder to climb above the metaphysics of Enlightenment Liberalism that much of our shared political languages inherits, while salvaging the bones of Liberalism that continue to serve us well. As an example: Rorty gives the leash to quibble with the accuracy of the statement "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" while still drawing the line before the illiberal view that shoul ...more
Jee Koh
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've always wondered how to reconcile Nietzschean self-creation with liberal politics, and so it is with a tremendous sense of excitement, and relief, that I learn from Richard Rorty that it is not necessary to reconcile the two, that in fact it is a mistake to try for some kind of synthesis. One has to be contented with their separation, to be a liberal ironist, as Rorty calls it. The irony is directed at all final vocabularies, one's own as well as others', understanding that there is no final ...more
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rorty has become my favorite philosopher. Although I agree a lot with his relativistic worldview and his complete detachment from metaphysics, what I find most impressive is his way of re-describing philosophers and philosophical problems and his attempts to just abandon certain familiar ways of viewing the world. He is notorious for (but also admits freely that he is) reading philosophers in his own way, very differently from what they thought of themselves or most others think of them. And of ...more
Ross Torres
Sep 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The main issue I have with Rorty's perspective isn't his idea that language, self, and community are contingent but what I do take issue with is his claim that all we do in this contingency is re-describe (p99 quoted in full below). I think Rorty is acting in bad faith and doesn't want to accept that our so-called re-descriptions and so-called final vocabularies have considerable effects on people's lives. I wouldn't say we are looking for the true society, true epistemology in the analytic trad ...more
May 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The late professor Rorty changed my life. Not that I agree with all his opinions, but the depth of his reasoning, the erudition and gravity and unshakable reasonableness of his writing opened my mind to new levels of thinking. Coupled with Nietzsche's Beyond Good & Evil (which I read for the same class when I was a sophomore), the effect was literally life-changing.

The book is about the impossibility of transcultural values, the possibilities and promise of sloughing off Enlightenment rationalis
John Aggrey Odera
The book that shattered every notion of objectivity or truth that I've ever had, and then attempted to build (perhaps a bit unsuccessfully) a framework through which, since I no longer believed in truth, I could engage with the world without just being a massive, cynical arsehole (private irony; public solidarity). This is not my favourite book (that's The Power Broker by Caro), nor is it the book I've enjoyed reading the most (that's Anna Karenina), but if asked, this is the one book I'd recomm ...more
Thomas Schrepfer
R.I.P., homie. I reckon I'd have gone crazy by now withoutcha.
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
yes, it is a philosphical book but in short it is about the power of books and literature! It will change your perspective on reading and the use of books. Great!
Mar 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If nothing else, read the five-star essay, that you don't even need too much philosophy background to appreciate, on Nabokov entitled "The Barber of Kasbeam"
Fernando Lopes
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dewey in the streets, Derrida in the sheets.

There are 3 Rortys in CIS: Rorty the metaphilosopher/historian of ideas (Contingency), Rorty the historian of philosophy/comparative philosopher (Irony), and Rorty the social philosopher/literary theorist (Solidarity).

These kinds of philosophical roles, which Rorty takes upon in some form or another in his other works, appear in this book in a way that concisely summarizes Rorty’s preoccupations with our intellectual narratives, the function of theory
Sharad Pandian
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lost for so long, but now I am seen.


Quick Summary:

It's a book that is more complex than it might initially seem, because it's going for something like unified account account of what a modern liberal should be like. A good place to start would be Rorty's disillusionment with big plans and utopian thinking guiding politics:

I do not think that we liberals can now imagine a future of "human dignity, freedom and peace." That is, we cannot tell ourselves a story about how to get from the actua
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Richard Rorty (1931–2007) developed a distinctive and controversial brand of pragmatism that expressed itself along two main axes. One is negative—a critical diagnosis of what Rorty takes to be defining projects of modern philosophy. The other is positive—an attempt to show what intellectual culture might look like, once we free ourselves from the governing metaphors of mind and knowledge in which ...more

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“In my utopia, human solidarity would be seen not as a fact to be recognised by clearing away "prejudice" or burrowing down to previously hidden depths but, rather, as a goal to be achieved. It is to be achieved not by inquiry but by imagination, the imaginative ability to see strange people as fellow sufferers. Solidarity is not discovered by reflection but created. It is created by increasing our sensitivity to the particular details of the pain and humiliation of other, unfamiliar sorts of people. Such increased sensitivity makes it more difficult to marginalise people different from ourselves by thinking, "They do not feel as 'we' would," or "There must always be suffering, so why not let 'them' suffer?"
This process of coming to see other human beings as "one of us" rather than as "them" is a matter of detailed description of what unfamiliar people are like and of redescription of what we ourselves are like. This is a task not for theory but for genres such as ethnography, the journalist's report, the comic book, the docudrama, and, especially, the novel. Fiction like that of Dickens, Olive Schreiner, or Richard Wright give us the details about kinds of suffering being endured by people to whom we had previously not attended. Fiction like that of Choderlos de Laclos, Henry James, or Nabokov gives us the details about what sorts of cruelty we ourselves are capable of, and thereby lets us redescribe ourselves. That is why the novel, the movie, and the TV program have, gradually but steadily, replaced the sermon and the treatise as the principal vehicles of moral change and progress.”
“Solidarity is not discovered by reflection but created.” 4 likes
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