A Bridge which Defines: On Richard Rorty’s very pragmatic interpretation of Gadamer Hermeneutics in his Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979)

It is easier to describe what something should be not, then to formulate what something should be, as it is easier to deconstruct then to construct. …

On Richard Rorty’s very pragmatic interpretation of Gadamer Hermeneutics in his Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979)

————- If we can take this short synopsis of these two authors as minimally representative of what the two authors say in general, Then what we have there, with Rorty anyways, Is a proposal which allows for the subsequent developments in philosophy of the 90s up till present, as represented by Badiou, Zizek, Laruelle, and even the speculative realists.

The point he describes is a kind of “empty space” that is then elaborated upon by these authors I just mentioned. This empty space can be understood to define two ontological situations, together which constitute what Laruelle calls “unilateral duality”. This unilateral duality posits two conditions that do not reconcile back into another unitive condition, but then also defines the state of each of those conditions.

One condition is exclusion and the other condition is inclusion.

Badiou Likewise considers things in this way, though he doesn’t enjoin with Laruelle at terms.

The one condition, which We can call the conventional route, excludes anything which arises outside of its semantic mandate. Basically, it posits a one reality in which everything exists and of which human beings find out through applying ‘reason’. The one route says that there is nothing that falls outside of the potential for reason; this route is necessarily a systemic route, it posits systems within systems that even extend so far as to imply there’s a grand overreaching system which we may not ever be able to comprehend. The way the exclusive route functions is the reduction and exclusion based of contradiction; it includes only that which constitutes itself in potential. It includes everything that is possible in potential.

The other ontological condition is the one which includes. This ontological condition includes the exclusive condition. The exclusive condition posits the possibility that it includes everything, yet by its own activity is necessarily exclusive to anything that might arise which does not conform to its particular semantic mandate. 

By contrast, The inclusive route includes contradiction as well as that which is exclusive. It is what Laruelle calls “non-philosophy”, in order to allow the exclusive route to lay in what is most common, namely philosophy as a positive method. 

The speculative realists understand and attempt to incorporate or use this ontological feature of non-reduction, non-philosophy, or what The link to post here would define “In contrast”, such that what we have for a new philosophy, what we have on the ‘other side’ of that empty space posited above, is a new manner of philosophy which resides parallel to its counterpart: Unilaterally dual in nature.

But this empty space cannot merely reside in conceptual reason, as the link to post talks about. As he suggests, philosophy must involve something more than just reason, more than just a capacity to think through Aristotle or reductive logic based away from contradiction; it is thus a bridge. 

But we could equally and just as well go back 100 or so years before and say that it is a ladder that then after we climb, or cross, it must be thrown away, or actually it disappears. For once we climb the ladder, once we have gotten to the ‘other side’ of the bridge, there is no incrementally reductive manner of reasoning which will allow us to cross the gap, what Slavoj Zizek knows as “the parallax gap”, And what  Badiou understands as “the void”. There is no way to use language or discourse to communicate how to move accross the gap Because the very foundation of discourse has changed by virtue of what, by all reasonable standards, is not reasonable. This is similar to what Kierkegaard calls a quantitative leap, as opposed to a qualitative leap; it is absurd to the conventional exclusive route of reason.

In short, the conventional philosophy of incremental reductive reasoning is insufficient to realize the full ontological extent of being in the world, which is really being of the world. Just as Heidegger had a real conflict, (Is Nationalist Socialism the actual culmination of history? And do I have an obligation to believe what I reason is so?), an actual breach in the rationale of his Dasien, An interruption which occurred from what is actually real in itself, outside of reason’s ability to conceptualize toward reduction, The fall back into reason had real ontological repercussions which shows that Heidegger’s original proposal of his book “being and time” is faulty. (That is, his philosophy is compromised Because he made the wrong decision, as evidenced by history.)

But the fault is not internal to his philosophy; rather, it is faulty Becuase of how we might be oriented upon what his philosophy is talking about. The fault lay in that there is no inherent truth which is discernible by the Method of reductive philosophical reason into his “being and time”; but the truth of Dasien is reckoned when we see that it is not based in reduction, that is, the centering of thought within the content of history of reductive reason is contradictory in-itself. It is contradiction spelled out ‘long hand’.

As much as the exclusive methodological philosophical route would want to argue that there is an essential truth to be found be a close reading of reason to his book, or any philosophical books really, ultimately the truth of what he is saying can only be found by crossing the bridge, passing over the gap, moving through the void which leaves the reductive method behind to fail in its want and desire to posit any truth found by its method. This is evidenced by any attempt which would want to argue ‘what he is really saying’: We keep discussing and arguing over it anyways.

Yet this failure does not mean that it does not still function. This is the meaning of a unilateral duality: Two Routes which are ontologically necessarily, one which posits philosophical sufficiency, and one which accounts for the truth of the situation.

Author: landzek

My name is Lance Kair, a philosopher, a counselor and a musician who is being questioned.

2 thoughts on “A Bridge which Defines: On Richard Rorty’s very pragmatic interpretation of Gadamer Hermeneutics in his Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979)”

  1. I read your post and the article you linked. This debate has been there forever, between the supremacy of philosophy to the truth and hermeneutics as to be incorporated to philosophy to make the latter more into “details” that concepts neglect. It all started with Nietzsche who praised hermeneutics over abstract concepts. Interesting stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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