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Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 5:10 pm
Posts: 23
O.K., I have tried to read Rorty, and whew! Ahem, does anyone else find his verbose prose to be prohibitive of true enlightenment? In other words, has anyone been able to wade through his sea of words? I was highlighting about every other sentence until I just couldn't see the point anymore. I love to read, but Rorty's writing style leaves much to be desired. HELP!! If anyone got a common theme, please share it with the rest of the cohort. Thanks!

Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:03 pm

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 11:21 am
Posts: 62
I have a mentor, professor,friendwho was at Tennesse for grad school. He had a philsophy course, within his counseling curriculum on M. Merleau-Ponty, a phenomenological existentialist (big word means, reality is how we preceive it). The professor asked what he though of it and he said, "His thoughts are fascinating but this writing sucks! I have seen first graders with more clarity in prose.". The teacher never talked to him again.
Just thought this might hit a vain with you all. Philosophical writing is a lot less about writing well then about disussin ideas. It certainly is a contrast to novels.

"But we shall rightly call a philosopher the man who is easily willing to learn every kind of knowledge, gladly turns to learning things. and is insatiable in this respect." Socrates

Wed Nov 05, 2003 7:50 am

Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 1:46 pm
Posts: 64
Have you noticed that the second Rorty reading was easier to understand than the first? They were also written as speeches for different audiences. I think some of these academic types think that in order to appeal to a certain egg-head audience, they need to use their fifty-dollar words. They are able to express the same thoughts more concretely and clearly, they just don't think they should!

Wasn't there a T-shirt or poster that says something about "eschew obfuscation"? (I can't remember if there was more to the T-shirt, but it was funny.)

I am all for using a well-developed vocabulary, nuances are important, but I think some authors over do it. (I enjoy learning new words, I just get "bummed out" when looking up a few words is insufficient to the adequate understanding of a text!) Wasn't there a famous person who said something along the lines of, "if I had more time, I would be more brief" - meaning that it is time consuming to write succinctly and clearly. (You will rightly counter with "Physician Heal Thyself.")

I recall once hearing a very charming, engaging Christian speaker on the radio. He was fascinating - he made difficult spiritual concepts seem very accessible through his dynamic and down-to-earth speaking style. However, later, when I found one of his books - it was nothing like the way he came across as a speaker! What a disappointment it was to me!The style was rather stuffy, academic and obscure - like some of this philosophy.

I took a reading development class in the 9th grade, which helped me to "push the envelope" on my reading up to the 12th grade level at that time. I wonder if they make SRA cards that take one from a 12th grade reading level up to the doctorate level? (I'm serious on this question.) I'm thinking about pursuing a Master's Degree in Reading - so maybe I will find out!

Joyce Jarrard

Sun Nov 09, 2003 6:04 pm
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