Looking at Michael Millerman’s Chapter (2020) “Rorty” (Part 2 of 3)

0011 Now, I personalize the ongoing intersection.

Figure 05

0012 Rorty’s condundrum becomes all the more visible.

Rorty, a pragmatist mercurial engineer2H, is trapped by the same gravitational field of politics2 as Heidegger, a visionary venusian poet2V.

0013 Rorty is a social democrat, concerned with implementation of policies that work.  He has lots of options, but no philosophical heft when it comes to figuring out the truths of political matters, much less the question, “What is a political good?”

Heidegger is an anti-democratic phenomenologist, whose vision of the truth amazingly allows him to pursue the only political option available to a professor of philosophy at the University of Freiberg during the Third Reich.  If Heidegger wants to keep the job, there not many options.  The German people march, like Don Quixote on his quest, towards a political good that is a figment of their leader’s imagination.

0014 What does this add up to?

Well, I suspect that Rorty, having no sympathy for Heidegger, wants to replace the political philosophical poet with a nice automated coffee dispenser.  First, the dispenser does not talk.  Second, everyone agrees that coffee is needed in departments of philosophy.  Its utility is guaranteed.

Of course, Millerman does not agree with this utopian solution.

Utopian solution?

Brew a cup of coffee and think about it.

0015 One problem lies in the nature of the intersection.  One actuality overshines two.  Intersections are filled with contradictions.

On top of that, an intersection may serve as actuality in a nested form.

Rorty sees no other options for political philosophy than social democracy.  His vision serves as a clue that Rorty works within social democracy3 as a normal context.  Normal contexts tend to exclude other normal contexts.  But, social democracy3 cannot exclude the normal contexts of reality3H and truth3V.


Reality3H and truth3V belong to politics2.

What about potential?

Well, not unlike Voltaire’s Candide, Rorty aims for the best of all possible worlds.

That means utopia is possible, today.

0016 Here is the nested form for Rorty’s politial philosophy.

Figure 06

0017 This nested form dovetails into Rorty’s views concerning the contingency of language2V and the absence of foundation1V.  Rorty needs truth3V.  But, his utopia1 comes on the wings of viable options1H, not from claws sharpened by debates over the good1V.  So, the philosophical question boils down to figuring out options1V, without being gouged by the claws of do-gooders2V.

0018 Other philosophers hone in on Rorty’s dilemma.  Obviously, Rorty evades the contradictions inherent in politics2.  How so?  Rorty cannot offer a persuasive resolution to a mystery that is as old as Mercury and Venus and the Sun.  Surely, the beauty of a mystery does not dwell in avoiding its contradictions.  Theologians know this.  Modern philosophers have forgotten this lesson.  Astrologers remember.

0019 This nested form allows me to appreciate Millerman’s claim that Rorty does not respond to Heidegger philosophically.  He responds politically.

To Rorty, the vertical axis of the intersection2 corresponds to Heidegger’s fundamental-ontological reactionary politics of nostalgia2, which is just another metaphorical language game.  Indeed, such nostalgia arises from the potential of another no-where1 (the transliteration of the Greek term, “utopia”).  Rorty accuses Heidegger of trying to step onstage in a decisive event in the History of Being, when a new philosophy emerges from the ashes of the old, on the possibility of a new know-where1.   Know-where1 does the truth3V bring that coffee-making appliance2 into relation with the good1V than in the dispensation of Heidegger’s fundamental-ontological nostalgia3.

0020 Here is a picture of Rorty’s view of Heidegger’s political philosophy.

Figure 07

Americans are so good at projection.