The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation


Rorty's been writing about theory of mind for so long, perhaps he's got a bit confused.

Tags: Anti-Terrorism, National, Rorty:, Security, State, and, the

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Oh his examples are so true. Its exactly the same!

Everyone makes a big fuss about 2 buildings falling down in 9/11, but the destruction of an entire city by Hurricane Katrina in retaliation for our failure to fulfil the demands of the Earth Winds Brotherhood - that goes unremarked. The winds of the earth submitted their manifesto for political and social change to us, demanding that we stop naming hurricanes after women and stop putting up massive wind farms (which get in the way when you want to have a good blow around the earth) and allow men to have multiple wives.  We are still struggling with their political manifesto, yet who talks about it?

He talks about people being killed when the San Andreas Fault shifts, but people obsess about 3000 people killed in the twin towers!  I've seen the manifesto submitted by the Holy Religion of Tectonic Plates, and they are demanding that we stop putting heavy buildings on their edges, stop drilling deep mines into the crust, and also make sure women have their clitoris and labia cut off.  Yet who worries about this?  The media never even bother to print that political agenda.  Actually the San Fransisco Earthquake terrorist also struck in 1906 and killed 3000 people by the quake and resulting fire, which was the greatest loss of life from a natural disaster in California's history.

We are struggling with all of these ideological movements: Islam, the Earth Winds Brotherhood, and the Holy Religion of Tectonic Plates - yet people only complain about Islam!  Its pure Islamophobia.

What these Islamophobes and scare mongers should do is go off and read the political doctrines, plans and scriptures that drive terrorists like Hurricane Katrina and the San Fransisco Earthquake, then they'll see how hypocritical they are in just focussing on Islam.

He's a famous American philosopher who wrote a great book on the Theory of Mind. So, I'm making a philosophical joke that he seems to have extended his theory of mind to endowing hurricanes and earthquakes with their own ideologies.  Laugh?  I almost cried!

But it seems that, like Chomsky who founded Linguistics and did a great job of it too, he should stick to his core discipline, and not make a fool of himself by wandering off into politics.

Prof. Thomas Sowell says precisely this in his latest book: Intellectuals and Society

When it comes to the philosophy of mind, phenomenologists are the western philosophers who have the greatest understanding of it.  Rorty is not fit to lick their shoes.  I don't know enough about buddhism to comment on their understanding of consciousness, but what I have heard is enough to make me think that they too know far more about consciousness than the tradition from which Rorty comes.

Rorty follows in the tradition of British (so-called) "analytic" linguistic philosophy (Ayers, Wittgenstein, etc.). Rorty reduces philosophy to a form of contrarianism (that kind of philosophy is a mental illness, as Wittgenstein would have it).  It is just a form of relativism.  And relativism is self-refuting, as it has no grounds on which to stand.  Rather than embrace the difficult problems of philosophy, much of modern philosophy has decided to run off to the land of triviality or banality (I'm sure that comes as no surprise).

There is a whole continent of philosophy that the Anglophone world knows little about.  If they are so unaware of the existence of phenomenology, we can hardly expect them to have any interest in the works of buddhism.

The field of phenomenology was cut short by the rise of Nazism and WW2 (it was a mostly Austro/German development, with many of the principal players being jews). During and after WW2, the remaining experts were dissipated across Europe and America.  But still, work proceeds in that field.  (I don't think there's been any truly important work in the traditional field of Anglophone philosophy since the death of Wittgenstein.)

Many of those "philosophers" and "theorists" who have provided the intellectual defence of the decline of western civilisation can be traced back to their schooling in, and rejection of, phenomenology.  People like Rorty are no more than a footnote in these debates.  

If you ever come across the names of Adorno, Derrida, Foucault, Kristeva, Judith Butler, Lyotard, etc. (or their acolytes) then you are dealing with those who rejected what phenomenologists were doing.  French philosophy is mostly faddish, and following WW2 the two most famous philosophers were Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, both schooled in phenomenology. French philosophers are stars on TV there, but who ever hears of Sartre these days?

And along with the leftist distanciation from imperialism, racism, sexism, eurocentrism, etc. comes the rejection of foundational truths and the rapture of relativism.  In a world of celebrity, philosophers are far more concerned with modish ideas than they are with chipping away at a profound edifice outlined by someone else.  Or they are simple career drones, working on "the tradition", making sure they have a good CV.

It is a depressing phenomenon of the late 20th century, that many academics have to wait until retirement to write the kinds of innovative work they really want to publish (although in philosophy, they don't even appear to do that).

Just curious, but since you reject relativism, what do you regard as absolute truth? Surely you're not a Christian...

Joe said:

And along with the leftist distanciation from imperialism, racism, sexism, eurocentrism, etc. comes the rejection of foundational truths and the rapture of relativism.

That there is consciousness, and that everything else is "known" (one way or another) through consciousness.

A christian believes that Jesus was some manifestation of the God.  I do not believe in the God.

To pursue this discussion further is going to be something of a distraction on 4F.  And we have enough of those.

I was just trying to provide some context on 20th century philosophy, and Rorty's position therein.

John Carlson said:

Just curious, but since you reject relativism, what do you regard as absolute truth? Surely you're not a Christian...

Yeah, thanks for the context Joe, it was helpful to me.  I didn't want to distract people by raising issues of Philosophy of Mind and so on ... maybe I should have put it in the humour room :-)

I put this here just to show how even a great academic can make a dumb mistake, if they are blinded by the Leftist virus, and we mustn't be afraid to point that mistake out.


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