[lit-ideas] Re: Valid-Some Thoughts

  • From: wokshevs@xxxxxx
  • To: jlm@xxxxxxxxxxxx, John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2008 16:44:38 -0330

Plse. see end of John's post below for some concluding remarks:

Quoting John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>:

> On Jan 3, 2008 7:45 AM, <wokshevs@xxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> >
> > ----------------> My thanks to John for his kind words.  I am pleased to
> > offer
> > my views and I thank John for his own perseverance. May the new year bring
> > enlightenment to all .... (esp. John. :)
> Once again, thanks to Walter for his best wishes.
> If Walter wishes to assert that all arguments require assumptions, I will
> happily agree to that. If he wishes to assert that certain assumptions are
> "transcendental," using a term that suggests divinity and thus the need for
> some special reverence, there I will simply disagree. To me "conceptual
> necessity" has no meaning beyond the assertion that given a set of
> assumptions {A} and a set of rules of inference {R}, only certain
> conclusions are possible. Working out the implications of {A} using only the
> rules in {R} may turn out to be useful in all sorts of ways. Consider
> mathematics for example.
> We have, however,  reached a point anticipated by Richard Rorty in the
> following words from _The Philosophy of Social Hope_ (p. xxxii).
> "I suspect that all that either side can do is to restate its case over and
> over again, in context after context. The controversy between those who see
> both our species and our society as a lucky accident, and those who find an
> immanent teleology in both, is too radical to permit of being judged from
> some neutral standpoint.
> I am not convinced by Walter. Walter is not convinced by me. We could,
> nonetheless, exchange sincere best wishes for the New Year and, should we
> meet some day, enjoy a dram of Scotch together. That, I take to be
> civilization and well worth fighting for.
> Cheers,
> John

WO: No doubt, if it came down to a war between liberal heirs to Socrates and
illiberal dogmatists and fascists, John and I would be on the same side. (Not
necessarily the winning side, alas.)

But Rorty 's understanding of the "controversy" is not applicable to the
conversation we're having here. While John appears to be a Rortain pragmatist,
my position appeals to no form of teleology. Transcendental analysis does not
entail such recourse. Note as well that Rorty's claim in the passage quoted by
John is a transcendental claim: it attempts to identify the limits and
possibilities of a specific kind of discourse. (Its a false transcendental
claim, Eric.) And its intelligibility and justifiedness rides on its (implicit)
claim to neutrality. Not even a Rorty wishes to beg the question, after all.
That is why Rorty is at his strongest when he simply displays insouciance
(sp?)to philosophical matters and makes no claims whatsoever in that regard. He
came to that realization pretty late.

But if it's time for us to return to our respective corners for a breather and a
dram, so be it.

Walter O.

> -- 
> John McCreery
> The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
> Tel. +81-45-314-9324
> http://www.wordworks.jp/

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