Questions about "solidarity" according to Richard Rorty

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Questions about "solidarity" according to Richard Rorty

Postby Gerardo on November 24th, 2018, 9:05 am 

Note: I wasn't sure if this thread should be on this subforum or the ethics subforum. If I posted it on the wrong one, could someone please move it? Thank you in advance.

I know a little about philosophy authors, but I don't have a degree on philosophy. I'm skimming around different theories in order to choose one of the main authors for my thesis proposal. One of its main aspects will be ethics.

I wonder if Rorty's "solidarity" will work in regards to what I wish to propose. I read some articles, written by others, offering an interpretation of his ideas and I skimmed his book "Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity". I wish to ask the following questions so to decide if I should take my time to read the book comprehensively or move on to another author instead.

First, I'm still not clear if "solidarity" has to do with the perspective of others being just as valuable as oneself and a departure from egocentrism or not. Is this the case?

Aside from that, I understand cruelty is a main point in regards to his concept of solidarity, but I wonder about unfairness. I'd say copying in an exam and entering a subway station without paying might not easily be understood as cruel acts, but they can add up to meaningful social problems which can generate suffering to many indirectly. Does Rorty's solidarity have to do with this kind of examples as well?

Finally, I'm not clear about what kind of narrative books promote solidarity according to Rorty. I'd say any narrative book that allows you to suspend your own reference frame, values, and emotional responses, as you get to know those of others (the characters) help promote peaceful coexistence, but I think he wasn't talking about that. Right? According to Rorty, must a narrative book have certain specifications in order to promote solidarity?

Thank you in advance.
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Re: Questions about "solidarity" according to Richard Rorty

Postby zetreque on November 24th, 2018, 2:18 pm 

I don't follow much specifics in philosophy but I have been around a good group of friends that are deep in the social justice world. Without learning anything about solidarity, my impression, when the term solidarity is used, its meaning is that of supporting a group that you might be a complete outsider to but you support them because while you are different, you are the same in that you are a life on this planet that has the same needs and desires to be part of the peaceful or respected ecosystem. You can empathize with their situation.

For example: One of the biggest recent events where I encountered the term standing in solidarity was for the Dakata access pipeline (DAPL). My impression I stated above is because while people from around the world might not be directly facing the issue of this pipeline infringing on tribal rights, land, or water, people all around the world appreciate that an oil spill in one area may indirectly impact the health of the whole world (especially if oil is spilled on farm land or ends up in the Gulf of Mexico). Also, no one else in the world wants to be over-run by a powerful corporate entity and they empathize with that.

That might not be what you were asking but thought I'd throw it out there.
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Re: Questions about "solidarity" according to Richard Rorty

Postby Gerardo on November 25th, 2018, 10:27 am 

I appreciate the fact that you answered zetreque. It's annoying to have the beginning of a thread perpetually unanswered. I do hope to find someone that has a little more knowledge about Rorty's ideas.

Regarding your answer, curiously Rorty proposes something a bit different. For him, "solidarity" happens when you stop defining someone else as an outsider, and instead, you see that person and yourself as part of a common group, just not something as vague as "humanity". I just wanted to share that : )
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Re: Questions about "solidarity" according to Richard Rorty

Postby TheVat on November 25th, 2018, 12:30 pm 

I am familiar with Rorty, but not enough to weigh in on this. SPCF is primarily a science (and philosophy of science) website, and our most philosophically learned members, Owleye, Noships, and Lomax, have moved on. I wonder if a website like quora.com would serve you better. I hope youe have a rewarding intellectual journey.
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Re: Questions about "solidarity" according to Richard Rorty

Postby zetreque on November 25th, 2018, 12:53 pm 

Gerardo » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:27 am wrote:
Regarding your answer, curiously Rorty proposes something a bit different. For him, "solidarity" happens when you stop defining someone else as an outsider, and instead, you see that person and yourself as part of a common group, just not something as vague as "humanity". I just wanted to share that : )


I thought that's what I said but in different words.
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Re: Questions about "solidarity" according to Richard Rorty

Postby Gerardo on November 26th, 2018, 3:50 pm 

Thank you for your help Braininvat and so sorry that I hadn't gotten that initially zetreque.
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