Rorty's Ironism and final vocabularies

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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Rorty's Ironism and final vocabularies

Post by Logik » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:04 am

Premise: ALL beliefs are contingent. This is the same as saying "ALL beliefs are falsifiable".

In his writings, Rorty cited three conditions that constitute the ironist perspective and these show how the notion undercuts the rationality of conservative, reactionary, and totalitarian positions by maintaining the contingency of all beliefs. These conditions are:

1. She has radical and continuing doubts about the final vocabulary she currently uses, because she has been impressed by other vocabularies, vocabularies taken as final by people or books she has encountered;
2. She realizes that argument phrased in her present vocabulary can neither underwrite nor dissolve these doubts;
3. Insofar as she philosophizes about her situation, she does not think that her vocabulary is closer to reality than others, that it is in touch with a power not herself.

Rorty posits that at the end of the philosophical endeavor we each find ourselves with a final vocabulary. ... ontingency
Eeach of us has a set of beliefs whose contingency we more or less ignore, which he dubs our "final vocabulary". One of the strong poet's greatest fears, according to Rorty, is that he will discover that he has been operating within someone else's final vocabulary all along; that he has not "self-created". It is his goal, therefore, to recontextualize the past that led to his historically contingent self, so that the past that defines him will be created by him, rather than creating him.
If contingency is a defining property of the human condition then surely we ought to doubt the necessity of "universal truth". Or at least - we ought to doubt the notion that "universal truth" can be discovered rather than invented.


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