Sunday, April 25, 2021

Cambridge Companion to Rorty

The Cambridge Companion to Rorty

ed. by David Rondel

(Cambridge University Press, 2021)

349 pages


This Companion provides a systematic introductory overview of Richard Rorty's philosophy. With chapters from an interdisciplinary group of leading scholars, the volume addresses virtually every aspect of Rorty's thought, from his philosophical views on truth and representation and his youthful obsession with wild orchids to his ruminations on the contemporary American Left and his prescient warning about the election of Donald Trump. Other topics covered include his various assessments of classical American pragmatism, feminism, liberalism, religion, literature, and philosophy itself. Sympathetic in some cases, in others sharply critical, the essays will provide readers with a deep and illuminating portrait of Rorty's exciting brand of neo-pragmatism.

Contents [Preview]

Introduction: The Unity of Richard Rorty’s Philosophy - David Rondel [Preview] [Excerpt]

1. Rorty’s Metaphilosophy: A Pluralistic Corridor - Colin Koopman

2. After Metaphysics: Eliminativism and the Protreptic Dilemma - Neil Gascoigne

3. Rorty and Classical Pragmatism - Christopher Voparil

4. A Pragmatism More Ironic Than Pragmatic - Barry Allen

5. Rorty and Semantic Minimalism - Simon Blackburn

6. Returning to the Particular: Morality and the Self after Rorty - Alan Malachowski

7. Rorty’s Political Philosophy - Michael Bacon & Alexis Dianda

8. Tinkering with Truth, Tinkering with Difference: Rorty and (Liberal) Feminism - Susan Dieleman

9. Rorty’s Insouciant Social Thought - James T. Kloppenberg

10. Rorty and National Pride - Georgia Warnke

11. Rorty on Religion - Stephen S. Bush

12. Rorty: Reading Continental Philosophy - Paul Patton

13. Rorty’s Literary Culture: Reading, Redemption, and The Heart’s Invisible Furies - Áine Mahon & Elizabeth O’Brien [Abstract]

14. Wild Orchids - Robert Westbrook

See also my blog post on "On Philosophy and Philosophers. Unpublished Papers, 1960–2000" by Richard Rorty.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Symposium on "Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie"

The new issue of "Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie" features articles on Jürgen Habermas' "Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie" (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2019):

Robin Celikates - "Einleitung" [link] [preview]

Jürgen Habermas - "Rückblick eines Autors" [preview]

This essay is a reflection on what I hoped to achieve with a project that was in the making for more than ten years. The account probably illustrates the aims that I believe I should have pursued in the project looking back upon it today rather than what I actually achieved within it; in any case, what one has actually written is only revealed after the fact from the critical responses of attentive and sensitive readers.

Axel Honneth - "Säkulare Vernunft? Eine kleine Rückfrage an ein großes Buch" [preview]

In my contribution I ask whether the version of secular reason Jürgen Habermas characterises as “post-metaphysical” can really provide us children of modernity with a comprehensive self- and world-understanding. I begin by asking what it means to claim that secular reason is “post-metaphysical” (1). There are various possible ways of understanding this characterisation, some stronger than others; but there needs to be clarity on this issue to address my second question: What would secular reason really have to achieve in order to make good on its claim that it can still provide us with a comprehensive understanding of our relation both to ourselves and to the world? I will split this question along two dimensions: from a theoretical standpoint we should explore how reality has to be understood in order to allow us to attain a consistent understanding of self and world; from a practical standpoint, we need to ask which attitudes we would actually have to adopt towards reality in order to find in it the kind of orientation that Habermas believes his version of secular reason holds in store (2). In a third step, I follow up on these practical considerations by asking whether, at the level of everyday praxis, an orienting conception of self and world in this day and age does not in fact demand more than Habermas seems to have in mind (3). Finally, and returning, albeit indirectly, to the meaning of “post-metaphysical”, I cast some doubt on the Habermasian thesis that secular reason can survive only in the form of a tradition that reaches back either to Kant or to Hume; I want to question whether this division is exhaustive and briefly bring a third alternative into play (4).

Peter E. Gordon - "Gibt es ein Asymmetrie-Problem in der Genealogie der nachmetaphysischen Vernunft?" [preview]

This essay places some conceptual pressure on the model of a “learning process” in Jürgen Habermas’s Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie, and it asks whether this model introduces a subtle asymmetry into the relationship between religion and secular philosophy. Such an asymmetry would seem to obtain insofar as religious tradition is granted a privileged or unique status as the source of normative insights that are then available for rational scrutiny and translation into secular life. The essay also draws a comparison between Lessing and Habermas: Lessing, like Habermas, saw revelation as a source of instruction for humanity, and affirmed that religion could thereby play a role in the Erziehung des Menschengeschlechts. But Lessing was careful to say that no valuable normative contents are found in religion that could not also be derived by secular reason alone. Habermas’s genealogy of post-metaphysical thinking does not seem to confirm Lessing’s idea; instead, it appears to confirm an asymmetry in the relation between religion and secular philosophy.

Regina Kreide & Tilo Wesche - "Warum moralisch sein?" [preview]

In his latest book, Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie, Jürgen Habermas attempts nothing less than a reconceptualisation of the history of human reason. Why, according to the central question that runs through the book like a red thread, can we, in the face of all social adversities and psychological obstacles, still be morally motivated to stand up for overcoming injustice in the world? This almost classic question about what I can hope for undoubtedly bears Kantian traits. And yet Habermas clearly goes beyond Kant. We argue that this becomes visible, first, in his post-metaphysical conception of motivation, which links individual and collective moral learning processes. The enormous explosive power of this conception comes into its own, secondly, especially against the background of some additional assumptions (trust, grief, open future). Nevertheless, thirdly, the question arises to what extent the Habermasian narrative of progress does not have a blind spot because it is in some sense not dialectical enough. The negative side of reason, which Adorno and Benjamin emphasised, are not included in the progress narrative, or only indirectly, which makes the conception of moral motivation seem weaker than it ought to be.

Jürgen Habermas - "Replik" [preview]

With these comments I try to explain why I am not quite convinced by the objections of four colleagues who touch on relevant issues of great weight. Axel Honneth claims that I failed to take into account the systematic weight of the Aristotelian tradition which I pursue only up until Thomas Aquinas (1). Peter Gordon points to an asymmetry in the presentation of the discourse between faith and knowledge that allegedly calls into question the independence of what philosophy developed, by its own standards, from an appropriation of semantic contents of religious traditions (2). Regina Kreide and Tilo Wesche explain the central intention that in fact guided me in this book, but criticise the one-sidedness of an undialectical account of learning processes, in whose shadow the victims tend to be neglected (3).

Monday, April 19, 2021

Neues Buch: "Normative Ordnungen"

Normative Ordnungen

Hrsg. von Rainer Forst & Klaus Günther

(Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2021)

683 Seiten


Wer verstehen will, wie gesellschaftliche Ordnungen sich herausbilden, verändern, stabilisieren oder zerbrechen, muss ihr normatives Innenleben erschließen. Der Frankfurter Forschungsverbund "Normative Ordnungen" hat eine viel beachtete Methode entwickelt, die die konstitutiven Rechtfertigungen nationaler wie transnationaler Ordnungen untersucht: ihre narrative Struktur, ihre moralische, religiöse, konventionelle, politische, rechtliche Natur – oder eine Kombination davon, so spannungsreich sie auch sein mag. Auf welchen Wegen, in welchen Verfahren und Konflikten entstehen solche Rechtfertigungen? Wann schwindet ihre Kraft? Der Band präsentiert in interdisziplinärer Zusammenarbeit eine Antwort auf diese Fragen.


Rainer Forst & Klaus Günther - Normative Ordnungen. Ein Frankfurter Forschungsprogramm [Leseprobe]

I: Die Ambivalenz normativer Ordnungen: Was gilt?

Jürgen Habermas - Noch einmal: Zum Verhältnis von Moralität und Sittlichkeit [Vortragsskript] [Video]

Axel Honneth - Recht und Sittlichkeit. Aspekte eines komplexen Wechselverhältnisses

Rainer Forst - Normativität und Wirklichkeit. Zu einer  kritisch-realistischen Theorie der Politik [Normativity and Reality (draft)]

Marcus Willaschek - Soziale Geltung und normative Richtigkeit. Eine  sozial-pragmatische Konzeption von Normativität

Christoph Menke - Zweite Natur. Zu einer kritischen Theorie der Normativität

Martin Saar - Immanente Normativität

Christopher Daase & Nicole Deitelhoff - Wenn die Geltung schwindet. Die Krise der liberalen  Weltordnung und die Herrschaftsproblematik internationaler Politik

II: Die Universalität normativer Ordnungen: Was gilt wo?

Nikita Dhawan - Die Aufklärung vor den Europäer-innen retten

Bernhard Jussen - Kohärenzinseln. Arbeiten an geschichtswissenschaftlichen  Versuchsaufbauten nach dem Ende des Eurozentrismus

Stefan Gosepath - Die Notwendigkeit globaler Philosophie

Matthias Lutz-Bachmann - Werte und Normen

Stefan Kadelbach - Die relative Universalität der Menschenrechte

Armin von Bogdandy, Matthias Goldmann & Ingo Venzke - Gemeinwohl im Völkerrecht. Eine Theorie internationaler öffentlicher Gewalt

Jens Steffek - Vom Friedensprojekt zur Elitenverschwörung. Die Umdeutung internationalen Regierens in Zeiten des Populismus

III: Die Performativität normativer Ordnungen: Wer erzählt was und wie?

Hartmut Leppin - Normative Ordnung, Exemplarität und Performanz. Das Beispiel Rabbulas von Edessa

Annette Imhausen - (Natur-)Wissenschaften und normative Ordnungen. Beispiele  aus den frühesten Wissenschaften und ihrer Geschichte [Sciences and Normative Orders]

Susanne Schröter - Dschihadismus. Politische Kontexte, theologische  Rechtfertigungen und Utopien normativer Ordnungen

Mamadou Diawara - "Die Piraten versuchen, ihren Kopf zu retten". Chronik einer Transplantation, die nicht greift

Angela Keppler & Martin Seel - Filmische Untersuchungen. Über die Deutung  ihres seismographischen Gehalts

Vinzenz Hediger - Sichtbares Unrecht. Zur normativen Kraft des Dokumentarischen

Rainer Klump & Pascal Wolf - Das "Trickle Down"-Narrativ als Rechtfertigung  wirtschaftlichen Wachstums

IV: Die Dynamik und Fragilität normativer Ordnungen: Wer ordnet was?

Klaus Günther - Von normativen zu smarten Ordnungen? [Vortrag]

Christoph Burchard - Von der "Strafrechts"ordnung der Prädiktionsgesellschaft zur Strafrechts"Ordnung" des liberalen Rechtsstaats

Alexander Peukert - Die Herausbildung der normativen Ordnung "geistiges Eigentum". Diskurstheoretische und andere Erklärungsansätze [Arbeitspapier]

Ute Sacksofsky - Wenn Rechtfertigungen brüchig werden. Verfassungsgerichte in der Diskriminierungsbekämpfung am Beispiel der Geschlechterordnung vor dem Bundesverfassungsgericht

Sighard Neckel - Der Zerfall von Ordnungen [Vortrag

Darrel Moellendorf - Hoffnung und Gründe [Hope and Reason]