Ethics-Rorty-cultural studies : towards an understanding of the cultural production of solidarity : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in English at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Is cultural studies on the verge of an ethical turn? What role could the work of Richard Rorty play in such an ethical turn? Rorty may be considered as a cultural theorist whose work enables a productive articulation of cultural studies and that area of experience known as "ethics" – one's sensitivity and sense of responsibility to others in pain. Through an extended "misreading" of the dispersed texts Rorty has written on and around the topic, it is possible to formulate a Rortian account of ethics as solidarity, including such concepts as the moral subject, the other, moral identification, moral community, as well as the ethical implications of Rorty's theoretical ethnocentrism. This account, by virtue of its antifoundationalist and discursive theoretical position, holds much interest for a cultural studies concerned to understand the normative dimension of discursive meaning.