List of Courses

Postmodernism:  What Was That All About?

Fall, 2018

About the Course

Readings will be provided by the study group leader on this page and on paper. In case you want to obtain them, most of the Rorty material is taken from two of his books:  Contingency, irony, and solidarity and Objectivity, relativism, and truth.

For those who wish to place our study of Rorty and Fish in the wider context of postmodernism, here is Butler 2002 Very Short Introduction .pdf.

Study group members will set the agenda for each class session by submitting questions on the reading, in advance, by email.  All study group members are expected to contribute thoughtful topics for discussion.  The study group leader will organize these topics for the session, and every member is expected to participate actively in the class discussion.

Session 1 - September 13

  1. Fish 1980 TitlePage EndNotes .pdf
  2. Fish 1980 Chapter 13 .pdf (19 pages)
  3. Discussion Questions 01 .pdf

Session 2 - September 20

  1. Fish 1980 Chapter 14 .pdf (16 pages)
  2. A Note on Meaning .pdf (9 pages) 
  3. (Optional)  Tom the Dancing Bug cartoons:  1 2 3 4
  4. Discussion Questions 02 .pdf

Session 3 - September 27

  1. Fish 1980 Chapter 15 .pdf (18 pages)
  2. Discussion Questions 03 .pdf

Session 4 - October 4

  1. Fish 1980 Chapter 16 .pdf (18 pages)
  2. Discussion Questions 04 .pdf

Session 5 - October 11

  1. Rorty 1985 Texts and Lumps .pdf (15 pages)
  2. Discussion Questions 05 .pdf
  3. Audio recordings of discussion: 

Session 6 - October 18

  1. Rorty 1987 Science Solidarity .pdf (11 pages)
  2. Rorty 1985 Solidarity Objectivity .pdf (14 pages)
  3. A Note on Truth .pdf (3 pages)
  4. Discussion Questions 06 .pdf
  5. Audio recordings of the discussion:

Session 7 - October 25

  1. Rorty 1988 Science Natural Kind .pdf (17 pages)
  2. Rorty 1987 Non-reductive Physicalism .pdf (13 pages)
  3. Discussion Questions 07 .pdf
  4. Audio recordings of the discussion:

Session 8 - November 1

  1. Rorty 1989 CIS 0 Front Matter .pdf (4 pages)
  2. Rorty 1989 CIS 1 Language .pdf (20 pages)
  3. Optional (for those who want to take the deep dive):  Rorty 1986 Pragmatism Davidson Truth .pdf (25 pages)
  4. Discussion Questions 08 .pdf
  5. Audio recordings of the discussion:

Session 9 - November 8

  1. Rorty 1993 Trotsky and the Wild Orchids .pdf (15 pages)  From Philosophy and Social Hope, 1999
  2. Rorty 1989 CIS 2 Selfhood .pdf  (20 pages)  Since this chapter is pretty dense, here is the essence in a comic strip, and if that is also obscure, here it is in a TED talk.
  3. Discussion Questions 09 .pdf
  4. Audio recordings of the discussion:

Session 10 - November 15

  1. Rorty 1989 CIS 3 Community .pdf (30 pages)
  2. Rorty 1986 On Ethnocentrism .pdf (8 pages)
  3. Discussion Questions 10 .pdf
  4. Audio recordings of the discussion:

Session 11 - November 29

Session 12 - December 6

  1. Rorty 1989 CIS 9 Solidarity .pdf (10 pages)
  2. Rorty 1979 Pragmatism Relativism Irrationalism .pdf (15 pages)  Rorty's presidential address before the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, reprinted in Consequences of Pragmatism, 1982
  3. Discussion Questions 12 .pdf