a choice or commitment could not lightly be cast aside. I cannot find this kind
of depth in much of postmodernism and, as a practical matter, I worry that the
casual approach it encourages will ultimately rob us of genuine citizens. The
shallow and thoughtless progeny of postmodernism will indeed get going when
the going gets tough. But they will go their own way.
Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 3.
The quotation comes from Jean-François Lyotard The Postmodern Condition: A
Report on Knowledge, translated by
Geoff Bennington and
Brian Massumi ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), xxiii. In general, I follow Catherine Zuckert usage
in Postmodern Platos ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 1-2, and Peter A. Lawler
, "Political Correctness and the End of History", College Teaching 44 (Winter 1996): 21.
Rorty, Contingency, xiii.
Richard Rorty, "Cosmopolitanism Without Emancipation: A Reply to JeanFrancois Lyotard", in
Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1991), 213.
This happy view of the postmodern condition can be found in
Walter Truett Anderson
, ed., The Truth About the Truth: De-confusing and Re-constructing the Postmodern
World ( New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1995), 8.
Ronald Beiner, "Introduction: Why Citizenship Constitutes a Theoretical Problem
in the Last Decade of the Twentieth Century", in
Beiner, ed., Theorizing Citizenship ( Al+00AD
bany: State University of New York Press, 1995), 9.
Anderson, The Truth About the Truth, 11. A somewhat different view, which emphasizes the importance of rootedness within a cultural horizon, is described in
Thomas L. Pangle's The Ennobling of Democracy ( Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), 34-47.
Richard Rorty "Postmodernist Bourgeois Liberalism", reprinted in his Objectivity, 197-202. Since the 1980s,
John Rawls has adopted a similar stance, which is especially evident in his Political Liberalism ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1993).
I disagree with Lawler's contention in "Political Correctness" that Rorty "emphatically"
rejects the "postmodern" label for himself. On the contrary, Rorty explicitly includes
himself among the "postmodernist bourgeois liberals" (see his Objectivity, 199).
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, in
Adrienne Koch and
, The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson ( New York: Random House, 1994), 278 (Query XVIII). For
Rorty attempt to appropriate Jefferson on behalf of his
"postmetaphysical" liberalism, see The Priority of Democracy to Philosophy," in his Objectivity, 175-196.
For a concise rehearsal of the argument, see
Michael W. McConnell, "Accommodation of Religion", in Supreme Court Review, 1985 ( Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 1985), 16-18.
This phrase comes from
Alexander Hamilton draft of
George Washington "Farewell Address", in
Morton J. Frisch, ed., Selected Writings and Speeches of Alexander Hamilton
( Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1985), 444.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Community and Political Thought Today.
Contributors: Peter Augustine Lawler - Editor, Dale McConkey - Editor.
Publisher: Praeger Publishers.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1998.
Page number: 142.
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