2018 | 4 | 29-51
Article title

The Category of “Contingency” in Contemporary Anthropological Discourse. Odo Marquard, Richard Rorty, Jürgen Habermas

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This comparative paper analyses in detail the contexts in which the “contingency” category was used by the philosophers mentioned in its title. While Odo Marquard and Richard Rorty situated contingency within the antifundamentalist discourse, especially in the sphere of philosophical anthropology, epistemology and ethics, Jürgen Habermas drew his conception of the contingency of human birth from the “human nature”— related discourse against modern-day genetic engineering. Marquard’s and Rorty’s theories differ in their philosophical assumptions (scepticism vs. neopragmatism). Among others, the author shows that none of the mentioned thinkers accepted the radically relativistic consequences of the debate around the “contingency” conception. In his analyses, he also makes frequent use of Marquard’s distinction between “arbitrarily accidental” and “fatefully accidental.”
  • Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Nowy Świat 72, 00-330 Warsaw, Poland
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