Theory and Fiction: Rorty's View of Philosophy as Literature

The European Legacy 16 (1):13-26 (2011)
Abstract
Richard Rorty was one of the most committed and respected critics of the distinction between philosophy and literature. He urged philosophers to adapt an ironist stance, characterized by a double commitment to historicism and nominalism, thereby simultaneously abandoning their inveterate representationalism as well as their predilection for hypostasizing abstract concepts. The ensuing return to the individual and contingent was also supposed to facilitate the absorption of philosophy into the realm of literature proper. This brief essay focuses on some aspects of the relationship between philosophy, literature, and history, highlighting thereby the role that theorizing of an abstract kind plays in the construction of fictional worlds?marking out a territory within the crafting of literature itself that draws on the non-nominalist mode of discourse usually favored by philosophers
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