I’ve been thinking lately about the differences between me, Rorty, and Pirsig. There are, of course, many differences, at least between Rorty and Pirsig, but one of the areas one can search for differences or similarities is in the area of a person’s biography, in their own self-image as a philosopher and how they got from childhood to where they are now. Pirsig’s biography, of course, is linked intimately and explicitly to his philosophy (despite the fact that we often suffocate those links to recontruct his philosophy), but Rorty’s biography is only now just gaining more attention. With the publication of his autobiographical essay, “Trotsky and the Wild Orchids” in Philosophy and Social Hope and particularly with the publication of a collection of interviews, Take Care of Freedom and Truth will Take Care of Itself, Rorty’s biography is becoming more explicitly seen. One of the things that comes out of Rorty’s writings is the notion that he’s a fallen metaphysician. In “Trotsky”, he says quite explicitly that he wanted as a child to have that kind of state of bliss that is associated with religion and Platonism. Until he was 20, he looked for a way to be a metaphysician.
People use this knowledge to characterize why he is often considered to be an “end of philosophy” philosopher. Almost all philosophers of note who are even symathetic to Rorty still have qualms about the extremes he goes to. They take it that Rorty is a person who was fooled by Platonism, and he never wants to be fooled again. Pirsig’s path is a bit different. We might describe Pirsig as a recovering metaphysician. Pirsig sees something worth rehabilitating in the area that both he and Rorty want to vacate. how to write an autobiography for college may be that Pirsig saw something ailing, something dying that needed help, whereas Rorty sees much ado about nothing. Pirsig’s reaction to his experience in scientific study suggests that Pirsig took it as very important that somebody mount a response to the problems in the philosophy of science he inadvertantly discovered (which eventually leads to larger problems about reason). This has been created by Essay Freelance Writers.
Rorty, on the other hand, thinks that for the most part we get along just fine in day to day life, and that the only short-term importance in mounting these responses are for those philosophers that are plagued by them. What typifies both of them is a fall. Rorty fell after attempting to be a Platonist, to find the One, and Pirsig fell after attempting to be a realist scientist. My difference to the two is that I fell from nothing to nowhere. I went from mumbling about God to mumbling about Reason or Science, not really believing in either, so my con to Rortyan pragmatism didn’t resemble a rejection of anything, or really a con at all, I simply felt like I was better able to articulate what I had been believing and acting for quite awhile. I’m not quite sure what the difference is between the feeling of con or articulation.
I have a feeling it amounts to what a person becomes obsessed with or fearful of. I find further enunciation of pragmatism to be interesting, but I have a feeling I’d be far more reconciliatory to those who think Rorty goes too far than Rorty might be. I’m less likely to become engrossed in subsidiaries of the epistemology industry. And much the same goes for Pirsig. I think his fear for the fate of the West, its spiritual crisis, is too overblown. I think it grows out of his own biography and creates an hysteria over the problems he considers. Things are neither as bad in the old framework as Pirsig thinks them, nor better in the framework Pirsig suggests. What Rorty helped me enunciate is the sense that just not that much hinges on what philosophers talk about–at least it looks that way compared to the scope at which most philosophers talk.