By Kai Nielsen
Addressing the "end-of-philosophy" debate and the problem it offers to modern philosophy, this publication attracts on Wittgenstein, Quine, Davidson, Habermas and Foucault, between others. It develops the consequences of Richard Rorty's arguments specifically and offers a reaction: the advance of a holistic, anti-foundationalist account of philosophy that engages serious concept and large reflective equilibrium in carving out a favorable function for a brand new type of philosophy.
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Extra resources for After The Demise Of The Tradition: Rorty, Critical Theory, And The Fate Of Philosophy
It seems to me, even if all this is accepted, that it is a very weak response to Rorty's argued rejection that philosophy, through its epistemological turn, can provide foundations for knowledge claims for the whole of culture so that philosophy could show (for example) that there is no moral knowledge or, alternatively, that there is or that philosophy could show that social anthropology, as distinct from chemistry, can make no genuine knowledge claims, that it is ideological through and through.
43 The Tradition in Retreat However, as I have already suggested, the Kantian component cuts closer to the bone. It is a deeply engrained, flattering self-image of philosophers and it is understandable that many people-and not only philosophers-would want such an Archimedean point for assessing and criticizing culture. It is surely understandable that reflective and intelligent human beings would want some standards of rationality and adequacy to assess the condition of our social life and to make judgments about social evolution (if such there be).
Professionalization with all its drawing of boundary lines and its invocation of sanctions against those who cross them, its conceptions of what is central to "the" discipline and what is marginal, is the inevitable accompaniment of bureaucratization. Hence there is at least a tension between the professionalization of philosophy and its flourishing, except of course as technique and idiom. For professionalization is always favourable to the flourishing of technique and to making narrowly technical proficiencies the badge of the fully licensed professional; and it is equally favorable to the development of idiosyncratic idiom, an idiom by which professionals recognize one another and for the lack of which they stigmatize outsiders.
After The Demise Of The Tradition: Rorty, Critical Theory, And The Fate Of Philosophy by Kai Nielsen