Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature

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When it first appeared in 1979, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature hit the philosophical world like a bombshell. In it, Richard Rorty argued that, beginning in the seventeenth century, philosophers developed an unhealthy obsession with the notion of representation: comparing the mind to a mirror that reflects reality. Rorty's book is a powerful critique of this imagery and the tradition of thought that it spawned. Today, the book remains a must-read and stands as a classic of twentieth-century philosophy. Its influence on the academy, both within philosophy and across a wide array of disciplines, continues unabated. This edition includes new essays by philosopher Michael Williams and literary scholar David Bromwich, as well as Rorty's previously unpublished essay "The Philosopher as Expert."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 472 pages
  • 137.16 x 210.82 x 33.02mm | 544.31g
  • Princeton University Press
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Thirtieth-Anniversary edition with a New introduction by Michael Williams, a new afterword by David Bromwich, and the previously unpublished essay "The Philosopher as Expert"
  • 0691141320
  • 9780691141329
  • 79,233

Review quote

"Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature brings to light the deep sense of crisis within the profession of academic philosophy. . . . Rorty's provocative and profound meditations impel philosophers to examine the problematic status of their discipline--only to discover that modern European philosophy has come to an end."--Cornel West, Union Seminary Quarterly Review "It is going to be a long time before a better book of its kind appears."--Alasdair MacIntyre, London Review of Books "This is an ambitious and important book. Ambitious because it attempts to place the main concerns and discussions of contemporary philosophy within a historical perspective; important because this is all too rarely attempted within our present philosophical culture, and almost never done this well."--Charles Taylor, Times Literary Supplementshow more

Table of contents

Introduction to the Thirtieth-Anniversary Edition xiiiPreface xxxiIntroduction 3Part one: Our Glassy Essense 15Chapter I: The Invention of the Mind 171. Criteria of the Mental 172. The Functional, the Phenomenal, and the Immaterial 223. The Diversity of Mind-Body Problems 324. Mind as the Grasp of Universals 385. Ability to Exist Separately from the Body 456. Dualism and "Mind-Stuff" 61Chapter II: Persons Without Minds 701. The Antipodeans 702. Phenomenal Properties 783. Incorrigibility and Raw Feels 884. Behaviorism 985. Skepticism about Other Minds 1076. Materialism without Mind-Body Identity 1147. Epistemology and "The Philosophy of Mind" 125Part Two: Mirroring 129Chapter III: The Idea of a "Theory of Knowledge" 1311. Epistemology and Philosophy's Self-Image 1312. Locke's Confusion of Explanation with Justification 1393. Kant's Confusion of Predication with Synthesis 1484. Knowledge as Needing "Foundations" 155Chapter IV: Privileged Representations 1651. Apodictic Truth, Privileged Representations, and Analytic Philosophy 1652. Epistemological Behaviorism 1733. Pre-linguistic Awareness 1824. The "'Idea' Idea" 1925. Epistemological Behaviorism, Psychological Behaviorism, and Language 209Chapter v: Epistemology and Empirical Psychology 2131. Suspicions about Psychology 2132. The Unnaturalness of Epistemology 2213. Psychological States as Genuine Explanations 2304. Psychological States as Representations 244Chapter vi: Epistemology and Philosophy of Language 2571. Pure and Impure Philosophy of Language 2572. What were our Ancestors Talking About? 2663. Idealism 2734. Reference 2845. Truth Without Mirrors 2956. Truth, Goodness, and Part Three: Philosophy 313Chapter VII: From Epistemology to Hermeneutics 3151. Commensuration and Conversation 3152. Kuhn and Incommensurability 3223. Objectivity as Correspondence and as Agreement 3334. Spirit and Nature 343Chapter VIII: Philosophy Without Mirrors 3571. Hermeneutics and Edification 3572. Systematic Philosophy and Edifying Philosophy 3653. Edification, Relativism, and Objective Truth 3734. Edification and Naturalism 3795. Philosophy in the Conversation of Mankind 389The Philosopher as Expert 395Afterword: Remembering Richard Rorty 423Index 433show more

About Richard Rorty

Richard Rorty (1931-2007) was a prolific philosopher and public intellectual who, throughout his illustrious career, taught at Princeton, the University of Virginia, and, until his death, Stanford more

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