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Posted July 30, 2004
Richard Rorty shows his tremendous command of both the 'Anglo-American Analytic' tradition and 'the European Continental' tradition by weaving them together into a one large coherent metaphilsophical viewpoint. His skill as a reader of Plato, Kant, Davidson, Dewey, Quine, James, Nietzsche, Derrida and Heidegger allows him to capture their significant contributions to his version pragmatism. Rorty's familiarity and knowledge of these thinkers allows his work to have great explanatory power and his paricular reading of their work provides fresh insight into the spirit of current philsophical thought. He shares his knowledge liberally in a very accessible, witty, stimulating manner. Where he departs from the tradition he is confident and secure' he finds no need to mourn 'an absence' or become 'nostalgic.' His talent for drawing large analogies and linking strands of thought together is a joy to the reader. His colorful descriptions, fluid style, and use of language demonstate his skill as writer. In this sense, he is certainly a departure from the stereotypical dry philosphical text. His works weaves in currents in literature, history, and politics in a relevant and edifying fashion. Most notably, he succeeds in making Derrida accessible to an American audience -perhaps more clearly than any North American Philosopher. Whether you agree with his views or not, Rorty offers an excellent review of important past thinkers while offering his own vision for the possibilities of philosophy in the years to come. This book prompted me to dedicate my reading strictly to Rorty in the months which have followed. This excursion is ongoing and has been an eye-opening, unregrettable and unique experience. Check it out ! E-mail me and let me know what you think!
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