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June 11, 2007

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Wild Orchids and Trotsky

Richard Rorty died. I didn’t know that much about him, except that he was a pragmatist (in the philosophical sense) and I like pragmatists, but this little snippet is pretty fantastic:

Jurgen Habermas writes a short obituary for philosopher Richard Rorty, who passed away on Friday. “One small autobiographical piece by Rorty bears the title ‘Wild Orchids and Trotsky.’ In it, Rorty describes how as a youth he kicked around the blooming hillside in north-west New Jersey, and breathed in the stunning odour of orchids. At the same time he discovered a fascinating book at the home of his leftist parents, defending Leon Trotsky against Stalin. This was the start of the vision which accompanied the young Rorty to college: philosophy is there to reconcile the celestial beauty of orchids with Trotsky’s dream of justice on earth.”

From that website signandsight, which I’ve mentioned before.

Update: Ah, here’s the actual piece by Habermas.

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Posted June 11, 2007 at 10:52 | Comments (0) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Gleeful Miscellany
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