Posts tagged ‘Gideon Lewis-Kraus’

Rorty, Bourdieu, Gross, n+1

n+1 has a fantastic review of Neil Gross’ book about Richard Rorty. The review by Gideon Lewis-Kraus provides a challenging discussion both of Gross’ book and of Bourdieu’s concepts Gross is working with. Lewis-Kraus disagrees with portraying Rorty’s leave from analytic philosophy as an act of rebellion against disciplinary authority. He argues to see Rorty as someone understanding that analytic philosophy “was a futile, unnecessary, and occasionally pernicious ambition.” According to him, Rorty was just trying to change the subject out of boredom. Embedded in the review is a sporadically elaborate criticism of Bourdieu’s sociology of science (which Gross calls the new sociology of ideas).

This review is part of the new book review supplement of n+1 called N1BR. For those not familiar with n+1: go check it out! It is one of the places on the web (and in print) proving that not aiming at the common denominator but challenging the user/reader can work.

Lewis-Kraus on the analytic philosophy and sociology: “The philosophical conversation had gotten so bad precisely because the analytic philosophers had been so successful in convincing themselves that only they had a clue about what was really going on, that everything done in any other discipline was frivolous and epiphenomenal and not worth worrying about. This is the peril of hermetic rigorism and abject professionalization: if you believe that whatever it is you have chosen to hypostasize—truth in epistemology, the class structure in economics, the drive for status in social relations—is the only thing ultimately worthy of discussion, you stand a good chance of finding yourself on the defensive, with fewer and fewer people to talk to and increasingly occult things to talk about. Whenever a discipline becomes too self-congratulatorily reflexive, when it thinks, for example, that the corrections to the blind spots of sociology will be illuminated in an infinite regress of ever more sociology, that discipline has become moribund.”


22/01/2009 at 18:18 1 comment