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A critique of Rorty's own provocative political philosophy, as well as an in-depth look at both the issues concerning the relationship between the public and the private, and arguments on the role of reason in liberal political discourse generally.
In 1989, with the publication of Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, and in articles throughout the 1990s, Richard Rorty developed a detailed social and political philosophy that brings together core elements in liberalism, pragmatism, and postmodern, anti-foundationalist, philosophy. The Last Conceptual Revolution provides a critique both of Rorty's own provocative political philosophy, as well as an in-depth look at the issues concerning the relationship between the public and the private; between persuasion and force; and arguments about the role of reason in liberal political discourse generally.
"Gander writes something about Rorty that has needed saying for quite some time. Most authors simply make quiet obeisance to Rorty. They accept Rorty on his own terms and read Rorty into this discipline's critique of foundationalism. Gander does not fall into this trap. The Last Conceptual Revolution is an essential read for any communication scholar who finds the attack on foundationalism unsatisfying and for anyone who takes seriously the relationship between rhetoric, politics and philosophy." -- David Grassmick, Centre College
"Stylistically, Gander engages Rorty in a series of prosopopoeia, often giving voices in the debates to the perspectives of others such as Freud, Bloom, Derrida, Burke, and many more. In almost eristic fashion, invoking images of the Platonic dialectical method, Gander quarrels and, at times, nit-picks his way through Rorty's ironism, his interpretation of liberal democratic theory, and ultimately, liberalism itself. It is an engaging read." -- David Cratis Williams, International Center for the Advancement of Political Communication and Argumentation
Eric M. Gander is Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech at Baruch College, City University of New York, where he teaches classes in persuasion and politics.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Sense of an Ending
1. "Locating" Rorty's Utopia
The End of Philosophy
The Beginning of Irony
2. Liberalism: Above and Below the Surface
Liberalism and Cruelty
Liberalism and Humiliation
Liberalism, Humiliation, and the Ironist Self
3. Sticks and Speech: Is There a Difference?
Liberalism and Reason
Universality, Transparency, and Truth
Critical Coda: Answering Hitler
4. Characters and Citizenship: A Literary Redescription
Philosophy versus Literature
Characters and Their Worldviews
Conclusion: Richard Rorty — Inscrutable to the Last