Richard Rorty

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Richard Rorty
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Born
Richard McKay Rorty

(1931-10-04)October 4, 1931
DiedJune 8, 2007(2007-06-08) (aged 75)
Alma mater
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Neopragmatism [1] (early)
Postanalytic philosophy (late)
Institutions
Doctoral advisor Paul Weiss
Doctoral students Robert Brandom
Main interests
Notable ideas

Richard McKay Rorty (October 4, 1931 – June 8, 2007) was an American philosopher.

Contents

Educated at the University of Chicago and Yale University, he had strong interests and training in both the history of philosophy and contemporary analytic philosophy, the latter of which came to comprise the main focus of his work at Princeton University in the 1960s. [2] He subsequently came to reject the tradition of philosophy according to which knowledge involves correct representation (a "mirror of nature") of a world whose existence remains wholly independent of that representation.

University of Chicago Private research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, the school is located on a 217-acre campus in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, near Lake Michigan. The University of Chicago holds top-ten positions in various national and international rankings.

Yale University Private research university in New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. Yale consistently ranks among the top universities in the world.

Analytic philosophy style of philosophy

Analytic philosophy is a style of philosophy that became dominant in the Western world at the beginning of the 20th century. The term can refer to one of several things:

Rorty had a long and diverse academic career, including positions as Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University, Kenan Professor of Humanities at the University of Virginia, and Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University. Among his most influential books are Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), Consequences of Pragmatism (1982), and Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989).

Princeton University University in Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, then to the current site nine years later, and renamed itself Princeton University in 1896.

University of Virginia University in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

The University of Virginia is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was founded in 1819 by Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson. It is known for its historic foundations, student-run honor code, and secret societies. UVA is the flagship university of Virginia and home to Jefferson's Academical Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stanford University Private research university in Stanford, California

Leland Stanford Junior University is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford is known for its academic strength, wealth, selectivity, proximity to Silicon Valley, and ranking as one of the world's top universities.

Rorty saw the idea of knowledge as a "mirror of nature" as pervasive throughout the history of western philosophy. Against this approach, Rorty advocated for a novel form of American pragmatism (sometimes called neopragmatism) in which scientific and philosophical methods form merely a set of contingent "vocabularies" which people abandon or adopt over time according to social conventions and usefulness. Rorty believed abandoning representationalist accounts of knowledge and language would lead to a state of mind he referred to as "ironism", in which people become completely aware of the contingency of their placement in history and of their philosophical vocabulary. Rorty tied this brand of philosophy to the notion of "social hope"; he believed that without the representationalist accounts, and without metaphors between the mind and the world, human society would behave more peacefully. He also emphasized the reasons why the interpretation of culture as conversation (Bernstein 1971), constitutes the crucial concept of a "postphilosophical" culture determined to abandon representationalist accounts of traditional epistemology, incorporating American pragmatism with Darwinian naturalism.

Western philosophy philosophy of the Western world

Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western world. Historically, the term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western culture, beginning with Greek philosophy of the pre-Socratics such as Thales and Pythagoras, and eventually covering a large area of the globe. The word philosophy itself originated from the Ancient Greek philosophía (φιλοσοφία), literally, "the love of wisdom".

Neopragmatism, sometimes called post-Deweyan pragmatism, linguistic pragmatism, or analytic pragmatism, is the philosophical tradition that infers that the meaning of words is a function of how they are used, rather than the meaning of what people intend for them to describe.

In philosophy and logic, contingency is the status of propositions that are neither true under every possible valuation nor false under every possible valuation. A contingent proposition is neither necessarily true nor necessarily false. Propositions that are contingent may be so because they contain logical connectives which, along with the truth value of any of its atomic parts, determine the truth value of the proposition. This is to say that the truth value of the proposition is contingent upon the truth values of the sentences which comprise it. Contingent propositions depend on the facts, whereas analytic propositions are true without regard to any facts about which they speak.

Biography

Richard Rorty was born on October 4, 1931, in New York City. [3] His parents, James and Winifred Rorty, were activists, writers and social democrats. His maternal grandfather, Walter Rauschenbusch, was a central figure in the Social Gospel movement of the early 20th century. [4] His father experienced two nervous breakdowns in his later life. The second breakdown, which he had in the early 1960s, was more serious and "included claims to divine prescience." [5] Consequently, Richard Rorty fell into depression as a teenager and in 1962 began a six-year psychiatric analysis for obsessional neurosis. [5] Rorty wrote about the beauty of rural New Jersey orchids in his short autobiography, "Trotsky and the Wild Orchids." His colleague Jürgen Habermas's obituary for Rorty points out that Rorty's contrasting childhood experiences, such as beautiful orchids versus reading a book in his parents' house that defended Leon Trotsky against Stalin, created an early interest in philosophy. He describes Rorty as an ironist:

James Rorty was a 20th-century American radical writer and poet as well as political activist who addressed controversial topic that included McCarthyism, Jim Crow, American industries, advertising, and nutrition, and was perhaps best known as a founding editor of the New Masses magazine.

Walter Rauschenbusch American theologian and Baptist pastor

Walter Rauschenbusch (1861–1918) was an American theologian and Baptist pastor who taught at the Rochester Theological Seminary. Rauschenbusch was a key figure in the Social Gospel and single tax movements that flourished in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was also the maternal grandfather of the influential philosopher Richard Rorty and the great-grandfather of Paul Raushenbush.

The Social Gospel was a movement in Protestantism that applied Christian ethics to social problems, especially issues of social justice such as economic inequality, poverty, alcoholism, crime, racial tensions, slums, unclean environment, child labour, inadequate labour unions, poor schools, and the danger of war. It was most prominent in the early-20th-century United States and Canada. Theologically, the Social Gospellers sought to operationalize the Lord's Prayer : "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". They typically were postmillennialist; that is, they believed the Second Coming could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by human effort. The Social Gospel was more popular among clergy than laity. Its leaders were predominantly associated with the liberal wing of the progressive movement, and most were theologically liberal, although a few were also conservative when it came to their views on social issues. Important leaders include Richard T. Ely, Josiah Strong, Washington Gladden, and Walter Rauschenbusch.

Nothing is sacred to Rorty the ironist. Asked at the end of his life about the 'holy', the strict atheist answered with words reminiscent of the young Hegel: 'My sense of the holy is bound up with the hope that some day my remote descendants will live in a global civilization in which love is pretty much the only law.' [6]

Rorty enrolled at the University of Chicago shortly before turning 15, where he received a bachelor's and a master's degree in philosophy (studying under Richard McKeon), [7] [8] continuing at Yale University for a PhD in philosophy (1952–1956). [9] He married another academic, Amélie Oksenberg (Harvard University professor), with whom he had a son, Jay, in 1954. After two years in the United States Army, he taught at Wellesley College for three years until 1961. [10] Rorty divorced his wife and then married Stanford University bioethicist Mary Varney in 1972. They had two children, Kevin and Patricia. While Richard Rorty was a "strict atheist" (Habermas), [6] Mary Varney Rorty was a practicing Mormon. [5]

Rorty was a professor of philosophy at Princeton University for 21 years. [10] In 1981, he was a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as the "Genius Award", in its first year of awarding, and in 1982 he became Kenan Professor of the Humanities at the University Of Virginia. [11] In 1997 Rorty became professor of comparative literature (and philosophy, by courtesy), at Stanford University, where he spent the remainder of his academic career. [11] During this period he was especially popular, and once quipped that he had been assigned to the position of "transitory professor of trendy studies." [12]

Rorty's doctoral dissertation, The Concept of Potentiality was an historical study of the concept, completed under the supervision of Paul Weiss, but his first book (as editor), The Linguistic Turn (1967), was firmly in the prevailing analytic mode, collecting classic essays on the linguistic turn in analytic philosophy. However, he gradually became acquainted with the American philosophical movement known as pragmatism, particularly the writings of John Dewey. The noteworthy work being done by analytic philosophers such as Willard Van Orman Quine and Wilfrid Sellars caused significant shifts in his thinking, which were reflected in his next book, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979).

Pragmatists generally hold that the meaning of a proposition is determined by its use in linguistic practice. Rorty combined pragmatism about truth and other matters with a later Wittgensteinian philosophy of language which declares that meaning is a social-linguistic product, and sentences do not 'link up' with the world in a correspondence relation. Rorty wrote in his Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989):

Truth cannot be out there—cannot exist independently of the human mind—because sentences cannot so exist, or be out there. The world is out there, but descriptions of the world are not. Only descriptions of the world can be true or false. The world on its own unaided by the describing activities of humans cannot."(5)

Views like this led Rorty to question many of philosophy's most basic assumptions—and have also led to him being apprehended as a postmodern/deconstructionist philosopher. Indeed, from the late 1980s through the 1990s, Rorty focused on the continental philosophical tradition, examining the works of Friederich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault, Jean-François Lyotard and Jacques Derrida. His work from this period included: Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989); Essays on Heidegger and Others: Philosophical Papers (1991); and Truth and Progress: Philosophical Papers (1998). The latter two works attempt to bridge the dichotomy between analytic and continental philosophy by claiming that the two traditions complement rather than oppose each other.

According to Rorty, analytic philosophy may not have lived up to its pretensions and may not have solved the puzzles it thought it had. Yet such philosophy, in the process of finding reasons for putting those pretensions and puzzles aside, helped earn itself an important place in the history of ideas. By giving up on the quest for apodicticity and finality that Edmund Husserl shared with Rudolf Carnap and Bertrand Russell, and by finding new reasons for thinking that such quest will never succeed, analytic philosophy cleared a path that leads past scientism, just as the German idealists cleared a path that led around empiricism.

In the last fifteen years of his life, Rorty continued to publish his writings, including four volumes of his archived philosophical papers, Achieving Our Country (1998), a political manifesto partly based on readings of Dewey and Walt Whitman in which he defended the idea of a progressive, pragmatic left against what he feels are defeatist, anti-liberal, anti-humanist positions espoused by the critical left and continental school. Rorty felt these anti-humanist positions were personified by figures like Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Foucault. Such theorists were also guilty of an "inverted Platonism" in which they attempted to craft overarching, metaphysical, "sublime" philosophies—which in fact contradicted their core claims to be ironist and contingent. Rorty's last works, after his move to Stanford University, focused on the place of religion in contemporary life, liberal communities, comparative literature and philosophy as "cultural politics."

Shortly before his death, he wrote a piece called "The Fire of Life," (published in the November 2007 issue of Poetry magazine), [13] in which he meditates on his diagnosis and the comfort of poetry. He concludes, "I now wish that I had spent somewhat more of my life with verse. This is not because I fear having missed out on truths that are incapable of statement in prose. There are no such truths; there is nothing about death that Swinburne and Landor knew but Epicurus and Heidegger failed to grasp. Rather, it is because I would have lived more fully if I had been able to rattle off more old chestnuts—just as I would have if I had made more close friends. Cultures with richer vocabularies are more fully human—farther removed from the beasts—than those with poorer ones; individual men and women are more fully human when their memories are amply stocked with verses."

On June 8, 2007, Rorty died in his home from pancreatic cancer. [9] [11] [14]

Major works

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature

In Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), Rorty argues that the central problems of modern epistemology depend upon a picture of the mind as trying to faithfully represent (or "mirror") a mind-independent, external reality. If we give up this metaphor, then the entire enterprise of foundationalist epistemology is misguided. A foundationalist believes that in order to avoid the regress inherent in claiming that all beliefs are justified by other beliefs, some beliefs must be self-justifying and form the foundations to all knowledge.

There were two senses of "foundationalism" criticized in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. In the epistemological sense, Rorty criticized the attempt to justify knowledge claims by tracing them to a set of foundations (e.g., self-evident premises or noninferential sensations); more broadly, he criticized the claim of philosophy to function foundationally within a culture. The former argument draws on Sellars's critique of the idea that there is a "given" in sensory perception, in combination with Quine's critique of the distinction between analytic sentences (sentences which are true solely in virtue of what they mean) and synthetic sentences (sentences made true by the world). Each critique, taken alone, provides a problem for a conception of how philosophy ought to proceed, yet leaves enough of the tradition intact to proceed with its former aspirations. Combined, Rorty claimed, the two critiques are devastating. With no privileged insight into the structure of belief and no privileged realm of truths of meaning, we have, instead, knowledge as those beliefs that pay their way. The only worthwhile description of the actual process of inquiry, Rorty claimed, was a Kuhnian account of the standard phases of the progress of disciplines, oscillating through normal and abnormal periods, between routine problem-solving and intellectual crises.

After rejecting foundationalism, Rorty argues that one of the few roles left for a philosopher is to act as an intellectual gadfly, attempting to induce a revolutionary break with previous practice, a role that Rorty was happy to take on himself. Rorty suggests that each generation tries to subject all disciplines to the model that the most successful discipline of the day employs. In Rorty's view, the success of modern science has led academics in philosophy and the humanities to mistakenly imitate scientific methods. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature popularized and extended ideas of Wilfrid Sellars (the critique of the Myth of the Given) and Willard Van Orman Quine (the critique of the analytic–synthetic distinction) and others who advocate the Wittgensteinian doctrine of "dissolving" rather than solving philosophical problems.

Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity

In Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989), Rorty abandons specifically analytic modes of explication in favor of narrative pastiche in order to develop an alternative conceptual vocabulary to that of the "Platonists" he rejects. This schema is based on the belief that there is no worthwhile theory of truth, aside from a non-epistemic semantic one (as Donald Davidson developed out of the work of Alfred Tarski). Rorty suggests that the task of philosophy should be distinguished along public and private lines. Private philosophers, who provide one with greater abilities to (re)create oneself, a view adapted from Nietzsche and which Rorty also identifies with the novels of Marcel Proust and Vladimir Nabokov, should not be expected to help with public problems. For a public philosophy, one might turn to Rawls or Habermas.

This book also marks his first attempt to specifically articulate a political vision consistent with his philosophy, the vision of a diverse community bound together by opposition to cruelty, and not by abstract ideas such as 'justice' or 'common humanity,' policed by the separation of the public and private realms of life.

In this book, Rorty introduces the terminology of ironism, which he uses to describe his mindset and his philosophy.

Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth

Amongst the essays in Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers, Volume 1 (1990), is "The Priority of Democracy to Philosophy," in which Rorty defends Rawls against communitarian critics. Rorty argues that liberalism can "get along without philosophical presuppositions," while at the same time conceding to communitarians that "a conception of the self that makes the community constitutive of the self does comport well with liberal democracy." [15] For Rorty, social institutions ought to be thought of as "experiments in cooperation rather than as attempts to embody a universal and ahistorical order." [16]

Essays on Heidegger and Others

In this text, Rorty focuses primarily on the continental philosophers Heidegger and Derrida. He argues that these European "post-Nietzscheans" share much with American pragmatists, in that they critique metaphysics and reject the correspondence theory of truth. When discussing Derrida, Rorty claims that Derrida is most useful when viewed as a funny writer who attempted to circumvent the Western philosophical tradition, rather than the inventor of a philosophical (or literary) "method." In this vein, Rorty criticizes Derrida's followers like Paul de Man for taking deconstructive literary theory too seriously.

Achieving Our Country

In Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America (1997), Rorty differentiates between what he sees as the two sides of the Left, a cultural Left and a progressive Left. He criticizes the cultural Left, which is exemplified by post-structuralists such as Foucault and postmodernists such as Lyotard, for offering critiques of society, but no alternatives (or alternatives that are so vague and general as to be abdications). Although these intellectuals make insightful claims about the ills of society, Rorty suggests that they provide no alternatives and even occasionally deny the possibility of progress. On the other hand, the progressive Left, exemplified for Rorty by the pragmatist Dewey, Whitman and James Baldwin, makes hope for a better future its priority. Without hope, Rorty argues, change is spiritually inconceivable and the cultural Left has begun to breed cynicism. Rorty sees the progressive Left as acting in the philosophical spirit of pragmatism.

On human rights

Rorty's notion of human rights is grounded on the notion of sentimentality. He contended that throughout history humans have devised various means of construing certain groups of individuals as inhuman or subhuman. Thinking in rationalist (foundationalist) terms will not solve this problem, he claimed. Rorty advocated the creation of a culture of global human rights in order to stop violations from happening through a sentimental education. He argued that we should create a sense of empathy or teach empathy to others so as to understand others' suffering. [17]

Reception and criticism

Rorty is among the most widely discussed and controversial contemporary philosophers, [18] and his works have provoked thoughtful responses from many other well-respected figures in the field. In Robert Brandom's anthology, entitled Rorty and His Critics, for example, Rorty's philosophy is discussed by Donald Davidson, Jürgen Habermas, Hilary Putnam, John McDowell, Jacques Bouveresse, and Daniel Dennett, among others. [19] In 2007, Roger Scruton wrote, "Rorty was paramount among those thinkers who advance their own opinion as immune to criticism, by pretending that it is not truth but consensus that counts, while defining the consensus in terms of people like themselves." [20] Ralph Marvin Tumaob concludes that Rorty was really influenced by the notion of Jean-François Lyotard's Metanarratives, and by this he further added that "postmodernism was influenced further by the works of Rorty". [21]

John McDowell is strongly influenced by Rorty, particularly by Rorty's Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979). [22] In continental philosophy, authors such as Jürgen Habermas, Gianni Vattimo, Jacques Derrida, Albrecht Wellmer, Hans Joas, Chantal Mouffe, Simon Critchley, Esa Saarinen, and Mike Sandbothe are influenced in different ways by Rorty's thinking. American novelist David Foster Wallace titled a short story in his collection Oblivion: Stories "Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature", and critics have attributed some of Wallace's writings on Irony to Rorty. [23]

Susan Haack has been a fierce critic of Rorty's neopragmatism. Haack criticises Rorty's claim to be a pragmatist at all and wrote a short play called We Pragmatists, where Rorty and Charles Sanders Peirce have a fictional conversation using only accurate quotes from their own writing. For Haack, the only link between Rorty's neopragmatism and the pragmatism of Peirce is the name. Haack believes Rorty's neopragmatism is both anti-philosophical and anti-intellectual, and exposes people further to rhetorical manipulation. [10] [24] [25]

Although Rorty was an avowed liberal, his political and moral philosophies have been attacked by commentators from the Left, some of whom believe them to be insufficient frameworks for social justice. [26] Rorty was also criticized by others for his rejection of the idea that science can depict the world. [27] One criticism, especially of Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity is that Rorty's philosophical 'hero', the ironist, is an elitist figure. [28] Rorty claims that the majority of people would be "commonsensically nominalist and historicist" but not ironist. These people would combine an ongoing attention to the particular as opposed to the transcendent (nominalism), with an awareness of their place in a continuum of contingent lived experience alongside other individuals (historicist), without necessarily having continual doubts about the resulting worldview as the ironist does. An ironist is someone who: 1) "has radical and continuing doubts about their final vocabulary"; 2) "realizes that argument phrased in their vocabulary can neither underwrite nor dissolve these doubts"; and 3) "does not think their vocabulary is closer to reality than others" (all 73, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity). On the other hand, the Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo alongside the Spanish philosopher Santiago Zabala in their 2011 book Hermeneutic Communism: from Heidegger to Marx affirm that "together with Richard Rorty we also consider it a flaw that 'the main thing contemporary academic Marxists inherit from Marx and Engels is the conviction that the quest for the cooperative commonwealth should be scientific rather than utopian, knowing rather than romantic.' As we will show hermeneutics contains all the utopian and romantic features that Rorty refers to because, contrary to the knowledge of science, it does not claim modern universality but rather postmodern particularism." [29]

Rorty often draws on a broad range of other philosophers to support his views, and his interpretation of their works has been contested. [30] Since Rorty is working from a tradition of re-interpretation, he remains uninterested in 'accurately' portraying other thinkers, but rather in utilizing their work in the same way a literary critic might use a novel. His essay "The Historiography of Philosophy: Four Genres" is a thorough description of how he treats the greats in the history of philosophy. In Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, Rorty attempts to disarm those who criticize his writings by arguing that their philosophical criticisms are made using axioms that are explicitly rejected within Rorty's own philosophy. [31] For instance, Rorty defines allegations of irrationality as affirmations of vernacular "otherness", and so—Rorty claims—accusations of irrationality can be expected during any argument and must simply be brushed aside. [32]

Select bibliography

As author
As editor

See also

Notes

  1. Pragmatism – Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  2. Ramberg, Bjørn (June 16, 2007). "Richard Rorty: Biographical Sketch". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  3. "Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher". press.uchicago.edu. 1931-10-04. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  4. Bernstein, Adam (11 June 2007). "Richard Rorty, 75; Leading U.S. Pragmatist Philosopher". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  5. 1 2 3 Bruce Kuklick. "Neil Gross, Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher." Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 47.1 (2011):36.
  6. 1 2 "Jürgen Habermas: Philosopher, poet and friend (12/06/2007)". signandsight. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  7. Marchetti, Giancarlo. "Interview with Richard Rorty." Philosophy Now Volume 43, Oct.–Nov. 2003.
  8. Ryerson, James. "The Quest for Uncertainty: Richard Rorty's Pragmatic Pilgrimage" Linguafranca Vol. 10, no. 9. December 2000/January 2001.
  9. 1 2 "Richard Rorty, distinguished public intellectual and controversial philosopher, dead at 75" (Stanford's announcement), June 10, 2007
  10. 1 2 3 Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  11. 1 2 3 "Richard Rorty, Philosopher, Dies at 75" (NY Times Obituary), June 11, 2007
  12. Ryerson, James. "Essay: Thinking Cheerfully." The New York Times Book Review . July 22, 2007: p. 27.
  13. Rorty, Richard (November 2007). "The Fire of Life". Poetry Magazine.
  14. "Richard Rorty," (short obituary), June 9, 2007.
  15. Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers, Volume 1 (1990), p. 179
  16. Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers, Volume 1 (1990), p. 196
  17. See Barreto, José-Manuel. "Rorty and Human Rights: Contingency, Emotions and How to Defend Human Rights Telling Stories." Utrecht Law Review, Volume 7 Issue 2 April 2011
  18. (Last sentence of the introduction)
  19. Amazon.com: Rorty and His Critics (Philosophers and their Critics): Robert B. Brandom: Books
  20. Scruton, Roger (2007-06-12). "Richard Rorty's legacy". openDemocracy. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  21. "System of Rorty".
  22. In the preface to Mind and World (pp. ix–x) McDowell states that "it will be obvious that Rorty's work is ... central for the way I define my stance here".
  23. Howard, Jennifer. "The Afterlife of David Foster Wallace". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  24. Susan Haack (November 1997). "Vulgar Rortyism". New Criterion.
  25. Haack, Susan (1993). "Ch. 9: Vulgar Pragmatism: an Unedifying Prospect". Evidence and Inquiry. Oxford UK: Blackwell. ISBN   978-0631118510.
  26. "Objectivity and Action: Wal-Mart and the Legacy of Marx and Nietzsche", A discussion of Terry Eagleton's attacks on Rorty's philosophy as insufficient in the fight against corporations such as Wal-Mart
  27. "The failure to recognize science's particular powers to depict reality, Daniel Dennett wrote, shows 'flatfooted ignorance of the proven methods of scientific truth-seeking and their power.'"
  28. Rob Reich – The Paradoxes of Education in Rorty's Liberal Utopia Archived 2006-06-15 at the Wayback Machine
  29. Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala. Hermeneutic Communism: From Heidegger to Marx Columbia University Press. 2011. Pgs. 2 and 3
  30. Richard Rorty (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
  31. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. [ ISBN missing ], p. 44
  32. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. p. 48

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Postanalytic philosophy describes a detachment from the mainstream philosophical movement of analytic philosophy, which is the predominant school of thought in English-speaking countries. Postanalytic philosophy derives mainly from contemporary American thought, especially from the works of philosophers Richard Rorty, Donald Davidson, Hilary Putnam, W. V. O. Quine, and Stanley Cavell. The term is closely associated with the much broader movement of contemporary American pragmatism, which, loosely defined, advocates a detachment from the definition of 'objective truth' given by modern philosophers such as Descartes. Postanalytic philosophers emphasize the contingency of human thought, convention, utility, and social progress.

Giovanna Borradori is Professor of Philosophy and Media Studies at Vassar College. Borradori is a specialist in Social and political theory, Aesthetics, and the philosophy of terrorism. A crucial focus of her work is fostering new avenues of communication between rival philosophical lineages, including the analytical and Continental traditions, liberalism and communitarianism, as well as deconstruction and Critical Theory. To invigorate this exchange, she pioneered the scholarly interview as a new philosophical genre.

The Metaphysical Club was a conversational philosophical club that the future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., the philosopher and psychologist William James, and the philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce formed in January 1872 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and dissolved in December 1872. Upon Peirce's arrival at Johns Hopkins University in 1879, he founded a new Metaphysical Club there. Despite the name, these academic philosophical discussion groups pursued critical thinking of a pragmatist and positivist nature and rejected the radical foundationalist European metaphysics, in favor of a moderate foundationalism. In fact, it was within these philosophical discussions that pragmatism is said to have been born.

Richard Shusterman is an American pragmatist philosopher. Known for his contributions to philosophical aesthetics and the emerging field of somaesthetics, currently he is the Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Florida Atlantic University.

<i>Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity</i> book by Richard Rorty

Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity is a 1989 book by the American philosopher Richard Rorty, based on two sets of lectures he gave at University College, London and at Trinity College, Cambridge. In contrast to his earlier work, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), Rorty mostly abandons attempts to explain his theories in analytical terms and instead creates an alternate conceptual schema to that of the "Platonists" he rejects. In this schema "truth" is considered unintelligible and meaningless.

Ironist, a term coined by Richard Rorty, for the concept that allows rhetorical scholars to actively participate in political practices. It is described as a modernist literary intellectual's project of fashioning the best possible self through continual redescription. With this concept, Rorty argues for a contingency that rejects the necessity and universality in relation to the ideas of language, self, and community.

Mike Sandbothe German philosopher

Mike Sandbothe is a German intellectual, philosopher and professor of culture and media at Jena University of Applied Sciences.

Richard J. Bernstein American philosopher

Richard Jacob Bernstein is an American philosopher who teaches at The New School for Social Research, and has written extensively about a broad array of issues and philosophical traditions including American pragmatism, neopragmatism, critical theory, deconstruction, social philosophy, political philosophy, and Hermeneutics. His work is best known for the way in which it examines the intersections between different philosophical schools and traditions, bringing together thinkers and philosophical insights that would otherwise remain separated by the analytic/continental divide in 20th century philosophy. The pragmatic and dialogical ethos that pervades his works has also been displayed in a number of philosophical exchanges with other contemporary thinkers like Hannah Arendt, Jürgen Habermas, Richard Rorty, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jacques Derrida, Agnes Heller, and Charles Taylor. Bernstein is an engaged public intellectual concerned not only with the specialized debates of academic philosophy, but also with the larger issues that touch upon social, political, and cultural aspects of contemporary life. Throughout his life Bernstein has actively endorsed a number of social causes and has been involved in movements of participatory democracy, upholding some of the cardinal virtues of the American pragmatist tradition, including a commitment to fallibilism, engaged pluralism, and the nurturing of critical communities.

World disclosure refers to how things become intelligible and meaningfully relevant to human beings, by virtue of being part of an ontological world – i.e., a pre-interpreted and holistically structured background of meaning. This understanding is said to be first disclosed to human beings through their practical day-to-day encounters with others, with things in the world, and through language.