of the Philosophy of the Concerned 4 December Postmodernism- Derrida, Foucault and Rorty Though Derrida, Foucault and Rorty tend to differ in an array of ways, still their postmodern views do evince a similarity in the sense that their philosophies do starkly come out as being a potent reaction against the salient philosophical values and assumptions that the modern period of the Western history does affiliate to. The philosophies of Derrida, Foucault and Rorty do convey a straightforward and emphatic denial of the values, norms, and beliefs that were considered to be a staple during the age of enlightenment. The philosophies of Derrida, Foucault and Rorty do carry a single thread in the sense that they are marked by a stark skepticism and a pervasive suspicion of the power of reason. All the three philosophers do exhibit a marked sensitivity to the role played by ideology in reinforcing and stabilizing the political power.
The strategy of deconstruction contrived by Derrida does practically amount to a staunch critique of the philosophical traditions that hitherto signified the Western philosophy. The strategy of deconstruction not only does tend to expose any literary or philosophical text, but by doing so it also does vehemently try to subvert it by exposing the varied binary oppositions that envelop the salient Western ways of thinking about and perceiving reality. The technique of deconstruction tends to attempt a textual interpretation of a text, with the intent to bring to fore the alternative meanings hidden in that text. It is not a surprise that Derrida’s “ idea of “ deconstructing text” has had a very wide influence (680).”
In continuation of a similar skeptical sentiment, Foucault did study the salient power structures that governed an array of social institutions. He was emphatically interested in the effect that these power structures and the consequent social institutions did have on the micro-politics that determined the potency and scope of social and political power. Foucault was particularly interested in understanding as to how people did develop a sense of social order by learning to govern them. The skepticism of Foucault did evince itself in identifying and unraveling the sense of social control that lurked behind an array of sociological situations. Foucault believed that the individuals do come to accept contractual ideologies to allow for a regulation of the imminent social order and the contrivance of a consequent social body.
In that context it is indeed interesting to note that Rorty did deny the dominance of all types of mental powers that happened to be privileged in their scope and that allowed for a direct and straightforward insight into the nature of reality. Thereby, by doing so, Rorty did make way for a philosophy of approaching language, which included and imbibed within its scope the evolutionary principles of Darwin. “ Rorty’s denial that truth is correspondence to some independent reality (696)” did come down heavily on the Western notion of representation.
Hence, all these three postmodern philosophers those are Derrida, Foucault and Rorty do evince a marked sense of skepticism and revolt against the salient conventions of Western thinking and way of understanding reality. They stand united in ascribing that the distinctions made by many of the philosophers before them did happen to be vague and illusory.
1. How do the three philosophers that are Derrida, Foucault and Rorty differ in their views?
2. Why are Derrida, Foucault and Rorty so skeptical of the philosophical ideas that preceded them?