Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Surprise! A non-posting on Richard Rorty

There has been a veritable Niagara of postings on the blogosphere about the passing of Richard Rorty. I tapped out a memory of meeting him while in grad school as a comment on Crooked Timber, as well as a posting on this blog immediately preceding this, so I too have added to the verbiage.
Some of the tributes are quite good. I particularly liked Habermas's understated and touching brief essay on the site Sign and Sight (cool play on words there).
Still, I don't recall nearly as many words offered for the passing of Derrida and certainly not for Gadamer (who, after all, was 102 when he died). I remember when Heidegger died in the mid 1970s, and of course that was pre Internet, but not as much ink was spilled.
What gives? Perhaps it is the suddenness of his death for some, though it was known by many though not me that he and Derrida shared the insidious disease of pancreatic cancer. Or is it that he was an anti-philosopher, who spoke across and in between disciplines, and did so with modesty and grace? I know that he annoyed many people, both the analytic philosophers he left behind as well as the neopragmatists of which he became the best known. RIP.

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