[lit-ideas] Re: On linguistic and genetic uncertainty

  • From: John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Lit-Ideas <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 10:48:45 +0900

Isn't to speak of performative contradiction to ignore Rorty's pragmatism?
There is no contradiction between seeking the widest possible agreement
while also recognizing that universal agreement will never be found, a
proposition for which the whole history of philosophy provides overwhelming
empirical evidence.


On Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 2:14 AM, Walter C. Okshevsky <wokshevs@xxxxxx>

> I find the view that, at the end of the day, when the spades are turned,
> all we
> can do is go with the maxim "You show me yours and I'll show you mine"
> displays
> a very  sceptical (indeed almost cynical) view of the rationality of moral
> judgement, and of the possibilities for agreement amongst competing
> conceptions
> of the good/authentic life in multiculturally pluralist democracies.
> Rorty whole-heartedly supported this kind of incommensurability in his
> notion of
> "final vocabulary" and suggested we just be unabashedly "ethnocentric"
> about our
> fundamental commitments since no non-circular justification of such
> founding
> commitments is possible. He took Habermas, in particular, to task for
> maintaining a universalism on epistemic principles and conditions of
> discourse/argument. Habermas replied in part by pointing out that any
> position
> on the justifiability (or not) of judgement must itself claim impartiality,
> necessity and objectivity (universality) in order to be a sensible and
> cogent
> position on the matter. The agreement Rorty seeks on the justifiability of
> his
> ethnocentrism must be intended as agreement by a universal audience. (Vide
> Kant's distinction between "public reason" and "private reason" in "What is
> Enlightenment?"
> Ca voulait dire, Rorty's espousal of ethnocentrism displays performative
> self-contradiction, for what it explicitly says is contradicted by what it
> shows in the saying (and *must* show in the saying for the saying to say
> what
> it's saying). Any position that cannot be expressed without contradicting
> itself, performatively or logically, is not a rational position to
> maintain,
> and cannot serve as the basis of a Republic of Ends in which members'
> self-legislated maxims are governed by reciprocity in universalization.
> Just talkin'
> Walter O
> Quoting Phil Enns <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxx>:
> > Walter writes:
> >
> > "I would submit that Witters had a tad too many wee drams of the good
> stuff
> > before saying his saying/showing distinction."
> >
> >
> > "Ethics so far as it springs from the desire to say something about the
> > ultimate meaning of life, the absolute good, the absolute valuable, can
> be
> > no science." - Wittgenstein 'A Lecture on Ethics'
> >
> > If I may differ from my colleague from the Rock, the say/show distinction
> > strikes me as being quite useful, particularly when it comes to ethics
> and
> > aesthetics. In order for ethics to get off the ground, even for the
> Master
> > of Koenigsberg, we require ethical intuitions. These ethical intuitions
> > both identify what might be considered as a matter of ethical concern,
> and
> > provide the stuff for ethical deliberation. Some people see the eating of
> > animal flesh as a matter of ethical concern, while others are
> indifferent.
> > One can, of course, give arguments for and against the eating of animal
> > flesh, but eventually the debate will come down to the shrug of one's
> > shoulders and the statement that, well, that is just how one sees things.
> > At a certain point, the best we can do is show our ethical commitments
> and
> > judgments, because these commitments and judgments reflect our attitudes
> or
> > orientations towards life, the Good, everything that matters to us, We
> can
> > talk about how these attitudes or orientations manifest themselves in
> > particular ways in our lives, but since they address, as it were, the
> > whole, they cannot themselves, be things beside other things in the
> world.
> >
> > It seems to me that the same is true of the beautiful.
> >
> > Sincerely,
> >
> > Phil
> >
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John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324

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