'Hold the being': How to split Rorty between irony and finitude

Philosophy and Social Criticism 25 (2):27-45 (1999)

which deliberately imitates Rorty's style), I take issue with the plea for liberalism advocated in his Contingency, Irony and Solidarity by turning a number of his own arguments against him. In particular, I show how Rorty's tendency to think of the 'liberal ironist' as the 'hero' of that book rhetorically obfuscates that the trust of his own argument would rather seem to point to a 'non-ironic non-liberal' individual in the role of the hero. I suggest that what has prevented Rorty from coming to such a conclusion himself, is not just his predilection for 'liberalism', but also a confusion between two notions of ethnocentrism - to which he pointed himself in later writings, without, however, drawing the necessary consequences. Key Words: aletheia • ethnocentrism • finitude • Heidegger • irony • Kierkegaard • liberalism • Rorty.
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DOI 10.1177/019145379902500202
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