René Boomkens, ed., [The ascetic, the interpreter and the narrator]
De asceet, de tolk en de verteller. Richard Rorty en het denken van het Westen
Introduction: René Boomkens
Translation: René Boomkens, Rob van den Boorn, Niels Helsloot, Hans Klein Schiphorst, Pieter Thomassen
Final editing and editing of the translation: Niels Helsloot en Annemie Halsema
Amsterdam: Krisis 1992
ISBN 90 73040 04 3
If one wants to think the West, if one wants to understand how 'Western civilization' fits together and what it is good for, then what is of more use: a philosopher like Martin Heidegger or a novelist like Charles Dickens? Does it make sense to talk about Western culture or civilization as if it is one thing? Or might terms like culture and civilization be ambiguous and polysemic? Do 'Western' philosophers and researchers in the humanities have anything to to report on such questions?
The authors of this volume ask themselves what interconnects modern philosophy and Western culture, what is the future of the humanities, and how one philosophical school can be compared to the other. Richard Rorty blames philosophers for their cultural aloofness. But how can 'cultures' be mutually translated, and do they have anything to say to one another? Should philosophers be ascetics, interpreters, or narrators?