I quoted Rorty out of a context. He was taking a pragmatic relativist stance
to the construction of subjectivity. His (mis?)reading of Sartre , I think,
does not lose the meaning of Sartre's work as presented by Clifford. He goes
on to develop (on the next couple of pages) an idea of the pragmaticist,
umm, making of the most 'self' when making the most of a situation (to put
it crudely). So if the situation is constructed by 'man' (how many
situations where a 'subjectivity' is needed are not created by 'man'??) then
"men make themselves out of what other men have made of them" could be seen
Here I will chip in some Lyotard: The society of the future falls less
within the province of a Newtonian anthropology (such as structurlism or
systems theory) than a pragmatics of language particles. There are many
different language games - a heterogeneity of elements. They only give rise
to institutions in patches - local determinism.
I think Rorty was attempting to work against such deterministic qualities
(and hence the possible inherent essentialism) of "men make themselves out
of what other men have made of them" by (possibly) paraphrasing the
(mis?)read section. Also, ironically, this Rorty (mis)reading Sartre thing
is an example of the 'pragmatics of language particles'.
I brought up the Lyotard because I had just brought up almost the exact same
query regarding the phrase 'local determinism' on the Spoons Lyotard list.
The (generalised) response I got was that it might have been descriptive of
rear-guard action by neo-conservatives against the 'post-modern condition'.
(Like bastard patriarchs using the word men to denote a social collective of
people.;) Perhaps Rorty was trying to escape the *evil* neo-conservatives?
Although that doesn't change the fact that Rorty did (maybe) (mis)read
Sartre without informing his dunce readership (namely me)! Of course,
misreading isn't necessarily a bad thing...
PS. Yay! Some more Lefebvre! I like Lefebvre.
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