Back    All discussions

2009-05-04
Rorty and Metaphilosophy in the US
I've always maintained that Rorty significantly damaged the status of analytic metaphilosophy in the US with his book Philosophy and the Mirror on Nature. By analytic metaphilosophy I mean metaphilosophy done by analytic philosophers not by Continental philosophers. Does anyone else agree with this or has metaphilosophy always had a secondary kind of status in the US?

2009-06-27
Rorty and Metaphilosophy in the US
Reply to Joel Gronning
Dear Joel (if I may so call you)

I am interested in, but don't know the answer to, your question(s). However, earlier today - as it happes - I asked the editor of METAPHILOSOPHY about whether there has been an increase in interest in (any kind of) metaphilosophy in the U.S.; if he gives an answer relevant to your second question ('or has metaphilosophy always had . .'), I will let you know.

Yours

Nicholas

2009-06-29
Rorty and Metaphilosophy in the US
Reply to Joel Gronning

Mightn't it be fair to say that metaphilosophy - as a distinct and autonomous aspect of philosophy - has really been of 'secondary status' for most of  the twentieth century? Although all philosophers are, I think, committed to certain metaphilosophical views, metaphilosophy itself as an active topic for discussion often seems to be a sort of bolt-on extra to other areas, rather than a worthwhile sub-discipline in its own right. If this is the case, then there are various possible historical and cultural reasons explanations: the shift towards specialisation and consequent compartmentalisation of philosophy; the emergence of 'research programmes' modelled on the sciences; 'postmodernist' hostility towards 'metanarratives' and 'grand' philosophical schemes, and so on.


2009-07-10
Rorty and Metaphilosophy in the US
Reply to Joel Gronning
The entry 'metaphilosophy' in the following work is useful: American Philosophy: An Encyclopedia, by John Lachs (Editor), Robert Talisse (Editor), Routledge (December 7, 2007). The author of the entry is the editor in chief of the journal METAPHILOSOPHY. The entry in questions contains the following text, which I take to be about, at least primarily, American (United States) metaphilosophy. 'The 1940s and 1950s saw a diminished interest in metaphilosophical questions among many professional philosophers.  Then Richard Rorty's work in the 1960s and 1970s, culminating in such books as The Linguistic Turn (1967) and Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), explicitly raised metaphilosophical questions about the direction of philosophy and in the latter case hearkened back to some of the themes of Dewey's earlier work.  A growing interest in metaphilosophy led to the establishment of the philosophy journal Metaphilosophy in 1970.' The article says, also, that the twentieth century saw an increase in metaphilosophical interest (again, I take it, in the U.S. - and, presumably, what the increase was over was the nineteenth or late nineteenth century).

Hope this helps. I might add that philosophers, like everyone else, will in every case almost always spend more time doing what they do than thinking about the nature of what they are doing. Still, that is less true of so-called Continental philosophy, because the frequent (attempted) revolutions within that philosophy often extend to the very conception of philosophy.

Nick
PS: Sorry if the formatting has gone a bit awry in the above text.

2009-07-19
Rorty and Metaphilosophy in the US
Reply to Joel Gronning
Perhaps, metaphilosophy has always had a secondary status such as the history of philosophy and logic (metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and aesthetics would have a primary status then). But metaphilosophy seems special in that it's about the nature of philosophy where the history of philosophy and logic are not. Perhaps then it has some sort of advisory role or something of the sort that would distinguish it from other secondary status disciplines.

2010-04-25
Rorty and Metaphilosophy in the US
Reply to Joel Gronning
I think, to consider metaphilosophy as the sole prerogative of a Rortian discourse is to limit its horizon without a justice .Rather I would argue that long before Rorty it has been a genuine area of concern for philosophers of other traditions.Rorty is one of many protaganists in this drama.  

2010-04-26
Rorty and Metaphilosophy in the US
Reply to Joel Gronning
It is possible to do metaphilosophical inquiry in the American tradition (especially James, Dewey, Peirce), but not the analytic kind, with and without Rorty:

Koopman, Colin, Historicism in Pragmatism: Lessons in Historiography and Philosophy (November 6, 2009). Metaphilosophy, Vol. 41, No. 40, available at SSRN: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1501309

Ralston, Shane, Recovering Pragmatism’s Practicality: Four Views (2009). Philosophical Frontiers, Vol. 4, No. 1, 3-18.