Humanities 2013, 2(3), 384-403; doi:10.3390/h2030384
Article

Double Visions: Autobiography and the Ends of Philosophy

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Received: 23 May 2013; in revised form: 19 June 2013 / Accepted: 9 July 2013 / Published: 10 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Legacy of Richard Rorty)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: In Contingency, irony and solidarity Rorty attempts to solve what Robert Pippin calls the ‘Modernity Problem’ by outlining a new self-understanding for the intellectuals of the ideal liberal society. The so-called liberal ironists of this post-philosophical milieu are no longer characterized by the quest for what Rorty describes as ‘a single vision’. This paper evaluates Rorty’s attempt to conceptualize the self-image of post-philosophical intellectuals in the light of two similar endeavors; namely, Nietzsche’s and the ancient Sceptics’. The preliminary conclusion is that although Rorty’s attempt fails, it points to an alternative way of interpreting the desire for a single vision; namely, as a form of autobiography. Drawing on Nietzsche, Nagel and Mill, the paper proceeds to argue that Rorty’s own autobiographical fragment exemplifies the way in which the narration of a failed attempt to find a ‘single vision’ can itself be seen as the achievement of such a vision.
Keywords: liberal ironist; autobiography; ancient scepticism; Nietzsche; modernity problem; intellectual self-understanding; Mill; Nagel
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gascoigne, N. Double Visions: Autobiography and the Ends of Philosophy. Humanities 2013, 2, 384-403.

AMA Style

Gascoigne N. Double Visions: Autobiography and the Ends of Philosophy. Humanities. 2013; 2(3):384-403.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gascoigne, Neil. 2013. "Double Visions: Autobiography and the Ends of Philosophy." Humanities 2, no. 3: 384-403.

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