Clifford Geertz on Rorty’s Wittgenstein

“The grounding of feeling, thought, and judgment in a form of life—which indeed is the only place, in my view, as it is in Rorty’s, that they can be grounded—is taken to mean [by Rorty] that the limits of my world are the limits of my language, which is not exactly what the man [Wittgenstein] said. What he said, of course, was that the limits of my language are the limits of my world, which implies not that the reach of our minds, of what we can say, think, appreciate, and judge, is trapped within the borders of our society, our country, our class, or our time, but that the reach of our minds, the range of signs we can manage somehow to interpret, is what defines the intellectual, emotional, and moral space in which we live.”

Clifford Geertz, “The Uses of Diversity,” in Available Light: Anthropological Reflections on Philosophical Topics, (Princeton University Press, 2000), 77.

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