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Encyclopedia > Richard Rorty
Western Philosophy
20th-century philosophy
Name
Richard McKay Rorty
Birth October 4, 1931
Flag of the United States New York City, New York
Death June 8, 2007
School/tradition Postanalytic · Pragmatism
Main interests Philosophy of language
Philosophy of mind
Ethics · Liberalism
Meta-epistemology
Notable ideas Postphilosophy · Ironism
Final vocabulary
Epistemological behaviorism
Influenced by John Dewey · Martin Heidegger
Ludwig Wittgenstein · Wilfrid Sellars
Friedrich Nietzsche · W.V.O. Quine
Donald Davidson · William James
John Rawls · Marcel Proust
Vladimir Nabokov
Influenced Robert Brandom · John McDowell
Gianni Vattimo · Cornel West
Nancy Fraser · Sam Harris

Richard McKay Rorty (October 4, 1931 - June 8, 2007) was an American philosopher. He had a long and diverse career in Philosophy, Humanities, and Literature departments. His complex intellectual background gave him a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the analytical tradition in philosophy he would later famously reject. Western philosophy is a modern claim that there is a line of related philosophical thinking, beginning in ancient Greece (Greek philosophy) and the ancient Near East (the Abrahamic religions), that continues to this day. ... It has been suggested that Contemporary philosophy be merged into this article or section. ... is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... This article is about the state. ... is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... Postanalytic philosophy describes a detachment from the mainstream philosophical movement of analytic philosophy, which is the predominant school of thought in English-speaking countries. ... Pragmatism is a philosophic school that originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Sanders Peirce, who first stated the pragmatic maxim. ... Philosophy of language is the reasoned inquiry into the nature, origins, and usage of language. ... A phrenological mapping of the brain. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) According to Plato, knowledge is a subset of that which is both true and believed Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief. ... Postanalytic philosophy describes a detachment from the mainstream philosophical movement of analytic philosophy, which is the predominant school of thought in English-speaking countries. ... Ironist (n. ... Final vocabulary is a term invented by Richard Rorty and explicated in Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. ... Behaviorism (also called learning perspective) is a philosophy of psychology based on the proposition that all things which organisms do — including acting, thinking and feeling—can and should be regarded as behaviors. ... John Dewey (October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer, whose thoughts and ideas have been greatly influential in the United States and around the world. ... Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) (IPA ) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (IPA: ) (April 26, 1889 in Vienna, Austria – April 29, 1951 in Cambridge, England) was an Austrian philosopher who contributed several ground-breaking ideas to philosophy, primarily in the foundations of logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of mind. ... Wilfrid Stalker Sellars (May 20, 1912 - July 2, 1989) was an American philosopher. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) (IPA: ) was a nineteenth-century German philologist and philosopher. ... For people named Quine, see Quine (surname). ... There are two Donald Davidsons: Donald Davidson (poet) Donald Davidson (philosopher) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... John Rawls (February 21, 1921 – November 24, 2002) was an American philosopher, a professor of political philosophy at Harvard University and author of A Theory of Justice (1971), Political Liberalism, Justice as Fairness: A Restatement, and The Law of Peoples. ... Proust redirects here. ... Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Набо́ков, pronounced ) (April 22 [O.S. April 10] 1899, Saint Petersburg – July 2, 1977, Montreux) was a Russian-American, Academy Award nominated author. ... Robert Brandom (1950- ), nicknamed the Iron City Kant, is American philosopher who teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. ... John Henry McDowell (born 1942) is a contemporary philosopher, formerly a fellow of University College, Oxford and now University Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. ... Gianni Vattimo at the National Gay Pride march, Como, 1999 Gianni Vattimo (born January 4, 1936) is an internationally recognized Italian author and politician. ... Cornell West redirects here. ... Nancy Fraser is currently the Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor of Political and Social Science at the Graduate Faculty of New School University in New York City. ... For other persons named Sam Harris, see Sam Harris (disambiguation). ... is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Analytic philosophy (sometimes, analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century. ...

Contents

Biography

Richard Rorty was born October 4, 1931 in New York City to James and Winifred Rorty. Winifred was the daughter of Social Gospel theologian Walter Rauschenbusch. Rorty enrolled at the University of Chicago shortly before turning 15, where he received a bachelor's and a master's degree in philosophy, continuing at Yale University for a PhD in philosophy[1]. He served two years in the army, and then taught at Wellesley College for three years, till 1961.[2] New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Walter Rauschenbusch (October 4, 1861-1918) was a progressive American Baptist minister, known as a leader in the social gospel movement. ... For other uses, see University of Chicago (disambiguation). ... Yale redirects here. ... For other uses, see Wellesley College (disambiguation). ...


Thereafter for 21 years at Princeton University Rorty was a professor of philosophy.[3] In 1982 he became Kenan Professor of the Humanities at the University Of Virginia.[4] In 1998 Rorty became professor emeritus of comparative literature (and philosophy, by courtesy), at Stanford University.[4] During this period he was especially popular, and once quipped that he had been assigned to the position of "transitory professor of trendy studies".[5] Princeton University is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. ... The University of Virginia (also called U.Va. ... Comparative literature (sometimes abbreviated Comp. ... Stanford redirects here. ...


Rorty's doctoral dissertation, "The Concept of Potentiality", and his first book (as editor), The Linguistic Turn (1967), were firmly in the prevailing analytic mode. 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 W.V.O. Quine and Wilfrid Sellars caused significant shifts in his thinking, which were reflected in his next book, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979). Analytic philosophy (sometimes, analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century. ... Pragmatism is a philosophic school that originated in the late nineteenth century with Charles Sanders Peirce, who first stated the pragmatic maxim. ... John Dewey (October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer, whose thoughts and ideas have been greatly influential in the United States and around the world. ... W. V. Quine Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 - December 25, 2000) was one of the most influential American philosophers and logicians of the 20th century. ... Wilfrid Stalker Sellars (May 20, 1912 - July 2, 1989) was an American philosopher. ... Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979) is a famous and controversial work by American philosopher Richard Rorty. ...


Pragmatists generally hold that a proposition is useful if employing it helps us understand or solve a given problem. 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. This intellectual framework allowed him to question many of philosophy's most basic assumptions. Pragmatism, as a school of philosophy, is a collection of many different ways of thinking. ... Book cover of the Blackwell edition of Philosophical Investigations Philosophical Investigations (Philosophische Untersuchungen) is, along with the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, one of the two major works by 20th-century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. ... Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), pictured here in 1930, made influential contributions to Logic and the philosophy of language, critically examining the task of conventional philosophy and its relation to the nature of language. ... Philosophy of language is the reasoned inquiry into the nature, origins, and usage of language. ... In linguistics, meaning is the content carried by the words or signs exchanged by people when communicating through language. ...


In the late 1980s through the 1990s, Rorty focused on the continental philosophical tradition, examining the work of Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault, 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. Continental philosophy is a term used in philosophy to designate one of two major traditions of modern Western philosophy. ... Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) (IPA ) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... Michel Foucault (pronounced ) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher, historian and sociologist. ... Jacques Derrida (IPA: in French [1], in English ) (July 15, 1930 – October 8, 2004) was an Algerian-born French philosopher, known as the founder of deconstruction. ... Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989), written by American philosopher Richard Rorty, is based on two sets of lectures given at University College, London, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. ...


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 Husserl shared with Carnap and 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. Analytic philosophy (sometimes, analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century. ... Apodictic (Gr. ... Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (IPA: ; April 8, 1859 – April 26, 1938) was a philosopher, known as the father of phenomenology. ... Rudolf Carnap (May 18, 1891 - September 14, 1970) was a German philosopher. ... Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. ... Scientism is a term mainly used as a pejorative[1][2][3] to accuse someone of holding that science has primacy over all other interpretations of life such as religious, mythical, spiritual, or humanistic explanations. ... This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedias quality standards. ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ...


In the last fifteen years of his life, Rorty continued to publish voluminously, including four volumes of philosophical papers, Achieving Our Country (1998), a political manifesto partly based on readings of John Dewey and Walt Whitman in which he defended the idea of a progressive, pragmatic left against what he feels are defeatist positions espoused by the so-called critical left personified by figures like Michel Foucault, and Philosophy and Social Hope, a collection of essays for a general audience. His last works focused on the place of religion in contemporary life and philosophy as "cultural politics". Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America is a book written by American philosopher Richard Rorty. ... John Dewey (October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer, whose thoughts and ideas have been greatly influential in the United States and around the world. ... Walter Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. ... Michel Foucault (pronounced ) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher, historian and sociologist. ...


On June 8, 2007, Rorty died in his home of pancreatic cancer. [1][4][6] is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumor within the pancreatic gland. ...


Shortly before his death, he wrote a piece called "The Fire of Life", (published in the November 2007 issue of Poetry Magazine)[7], 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."


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 philosophical sense, Rorty criticized the attempt to justify knowledge claims by tracing them to a set of foundations; 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. 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 discipline, oscillating through normal and abnormal science, between routine problem solving and intellectual crises. The only role 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 claims that each generation tries to subject all disciplines to the model that the most successful discipline of the day employs. On 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 W. V. O. Quine (the critique of the analytic-synthetic distinction) and others who advocate the doctrine of "dissolving" rather than solving philosophical problems. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979) is a famous and controversial work by American philosopher Richard Rorty. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) According to Plato, knowledge is a subset of that which is both true and believed Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief. ... Quines paper Two Dogmas of Empiricism, published 1951, is one of the most celebrated papers of twentieth century philosophy in the analytic tradition. ... Cover of a biography of Thomas Kuhn. ... Normal science is a concept originated by Thomas Samuel Kuhn and elaborated in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. ... Wilfrid Stalker Sellars (May 20, 1912 - July 2, 1989) was an American philosopher. ... Wilfrid Stalker Sellars (May 20, 1912 - July 2, 1989) was an American philosopher. ... For people named Quine, see Quine (surname). ... Th analytic-synthetic distinction (or dichotomy) is a conceptual distinction, used primarily in philosophy to distinguish propositions into two types: analytic propositions and synthetic propositions. ...


Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity

In Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989), Rorty abandons the attempt to explain his theories in analytic terms and creates an alternative conceptual schema to that of the "Platonists" he rejects. This schema is based on the belief that there is no intelligible truth (at least not in the sense in which it is conventionally conceptualized). Rorty proposes that philosophy (along with art, science, etc.) can and should be used to provide one with the ability to (re)create oneself, a view adapted from Nietzsche and which Rorty also identifies with the novels of Proust, Nabokov, and Henry James. 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. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989), written by American philosopher Richard Rorty, is based on two sets of lectures given at University College, London, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. ... Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) (IPA: ) was a nineteenth-century German philologist and philosopher. ... Proust redirects here. ... Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Набо́ков, pronounced ) (April 22 [O.S. April 10] 1899, Saint Petersburg – July 2, 1977, Montreux) was a Russian-American, Academy Award nominated author. ... For other uses of this name, see Henry James (disambiguation). ...


In this book, Rorty first introduces the terminology of Ironism, which he uses to describe his mindset and his philosophy. Ironist (n. ...


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 and argues that personal ideals of perfection and standards of truth were no more needed in politics than a state religion. He sees Rawls' concept of reflective equilibrium as a more appropriate way of approaching political decision-making in modern liberal democracies. John Rawls (February 21, 1921 – November 24, 2002) was an American philosopher, a professor of political philosophy at Harvard University and author of A Theory of Justice (1971), Political Liberalism, Justice as Fairness: A Restatement, and The Law of Peoples. ... Reflective equilibrium is a state of balance or coherence among a set of beliefs arrived at by a process of deliberative mutual adjustment among general principles and particular judgments. ...


Essays on Heidegger and Others

In this text, Rorty focuses primarily on the continental philosophers Martin Heidegger and Jacques Derrida. He argues that these European "post-Nietzscheans" share much in common 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 "method." In this vein, Rorty criticizes Derrida's followers like Paul de Man for taking deconstructive literary theory too seriously.


Achieving Our Country

Main article: Achieving Our Country

In Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America (1998), Rorty differentiates between what he sees as the two sides of the Left, a critical Left and a progressive Left. He criticizes the critical Left, which is exemplified by post-structuralists such as Michel Foucault and postmodernists such as Jean-François Lyotard. Although these intellectuals make insightful claims about the ills of society, Rorty holds that they provide no alternatives and even present progress as problematic at times. On the other hand, the progressive Left, exemplified for Rorty by John Dewey, makes progress its priority in its goal of "achieving our country." Rorty sees the progressive Left as acting in the philosophical spirit of pragmatism. Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America is a book written by American philosopher Richard Rorty. ...


On Human Rights

His notion of human rights is grounded on the notion of sentimentality. He contended, by saying, throughout human history humans have devised various ways to say that certain groups of individuals are not human or psuedo/sub-human. Thinking in rationalist (foundationalist) terms will not solve this problem. We need to create global human rights culture in order to stop violations from happening through sentimental education. He argued that we should create a sense of empathy or teach empathy to others to understand others suffering. Main problem with his argument is that it labels education as an ideal thing. No one contends that education is bad, but, with regards to all the gross human right violations in the world, how will it solve them? It is a Utopian idea but cannot solve the problem of human right violations.


One of his greatest critics in this area is the strong foundationalist scholar Henry Shue. Henry Shue wrote a book called Basic Rights. He defines rights as rational basis for justified demand. That is the first requirement of a right. Rights must also be something you can actually enjoy and be socially guaranteed. He defined three basic rights, (1) Liberty - freedom from third party coersion/abuse, (2) Security - one must be intact and alive, free from torture, and (3) Subsistence - one must be able to feed him/herself and survive as a human being.


Rorty and His Critics

On fundamentalist religion, Rorty has this to say:

“It seems to me that the regulative idea that we heirs of the Enlightenment, we Socratists, most frequently use to criticize the conduct of various conversational partners is that of ‘needing education in order to outgrow their primitive fear, hatreds, and superstitions’ . . . It is a concept which I, like most Americans who teach humanities or social science in colleges and universities, invoke when we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own . . . The fundamentalist parents of our fundamentalist students think that the entire ‘American liberal establishment’ is engaged in a conspiracy. The parents have a point. Their point is that we liberal teachers no more feel in a symmetrical communication situation when we talk with bigots than do kindergarten teachers talking with their students . . . When we American college teachers encounter religious fundamentalists, we do not consider the possibility of reformulating our own practices of justification so as to give more weight to the authority of the Christian scriptures. Instead, we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization. We assign first-person accounts of growing up homosexual to our homophobic students for the same reasons that German schoolteachers in the postwar period assigned The Diary of Anne Frank. . . You have to be educated in order to be . . . a participant in our conversation . . . So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable. We are not so inclusivist as to tolerate intolerance such as yours . . . I don’t see anything herrschaftsfrei [domination free] about my handling of my fundamentalist students. Rather, I think those students are lucky to find themselves under the benevolent Herrschaft [domination] of people like me, and to have escaped the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents . . . I am just as provincial and contextualist as the Nazi teachers who made their students read Der Stürmer; the only difference is that I serve a better cause.”

-‘Universality and Truth,’ in Robert B. Brandom (ed.), Rorty and his Critics (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000), pp. 21-2.


Reception and criticism

While controversial, Rorty is one of the most widely discussed philosophers in our time [8], and his works have provoked thoughtful responses from some of the most well-respected philosophers of his age. In 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.[9] Robert Brandom (1950- ), nicknamed the Iron City Kant, is American philosopher who teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. ... There are two Donald Davidsons: Donald Davidson (poet) Donald Davidson (philosopher) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Jürgen Habermas (IPA: ; born June 18, 1929) is a German philosopher and sociologist in the tradition of critical theory and American pragmatism. ... Hilary Whitehall Putnam (born July 31, 1926) is an American philosopher who has been a central figure in Western philosophy since the 1960s, especially in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science. ... John Henry McDowell (born 1942) is a contemporary philosopher, formerly a fellow of University College, Oxford and now University Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. ... Jacques Bouveresse (born August 20, 1940 in Épenoy) is a philosopher who has written on subjects including Ludwig Wittgenstein, Musil, Karl Kraus, the philosophy of science, epistemology, the philosophy of mathematics, and analytical philosophy. ... Daniel Clement Dennett (born March 28, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a prominent American philosopher whose research centers on philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. ...


John McDowell is strongly influenced by Rorty, in particular Rorty's Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979). 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". John Henry McDowell (born 1942) is a contemporary philosopher, formerly a fellow of University College, Oxford and now University Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. ...


Although Rorty is a hardened liberal, his political and moral philosophies have been attacked from the Left, some of whom believe them to be insufficient frameworks for social justice[10]. Rorty was also criticized by others for his rejection of the idea that science can depict the world.[11] In Daniel Dennett's humorous Philosophical Lexicon, 'Rorty' is defined as 'incorrigible'[12], which sums up both Rorty's career and much of the philosophic community's reaction to it. Left wing redirects here. ... Daniel Clement Dennett (born March 28, 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a prominent American philosopher whose research centers on philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. ... The Philosophical Lexicon is a humourous dictionary by philosopher Daniel Dennett. ...


One major criticism, especially of Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity is that Rorty's philosophical 'hero', the ironist, is an elitist figure [13]. Rorty claims that the majority of people would be "commensensically nominalist and historicist" but not ironist. Ironist (n. ...


Rorty often draws on a broad range of other philosophers to support his views, and his interpretation of their works has been contested [14]. 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.


As detailed in Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, many philosophical criticisms against Rorty are made using axioms that are explicitly rejected within Rorty's own philosophy.[15] For instance, Rorty defines allegations of irrationality as affirmations of vernacular "otherness", and so accusations of irrationality are not only brushed aside, but are expected during any argument[16].


Select bibliography

  • Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979. ISBN
  • Consequences of Pragmatism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982. ISBN
  • Philosophy in History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. (co-editor)
  • Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. ISBN
  • Objectivity, Relativism and Truth: Philosophical Papers I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. ISBN
  • Essays on Heidegger and Others: Philosophical Papers II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. ISBN
  • Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth Century America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998. ISBN
  • Truth and Progress: Philosophical Papers III. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN
  • Philosophy and Social Hope. New York: Penguin, 2000. ISBN
  • Against Bosses, Against Oligarchies: A Conversation with Richard Rorty. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2002. ISBN
  • The Future of Religion with Gianni Vattimo; edited by Santiago Zabala. Columbia: Columbia University Press, 2005. ISBN
  • Philosophy as Cultural Politics: Philosophical Papers IV. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979) is a famous and controversial work by American philosopher Richard Rorty. ... Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989), written by American philosopher Richard Rorty, is based on two sets of lectures given at University College, London, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. ... Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America is a book written by American philosopher Richard Rorty. ... Gianni Vattimo at the National Gay Pride march, Como, 1999 Gianni Vattimo (born January 4, 1936) is an internationally recognized Italian author and politician. ...

Further Reading

Books:

  • Richard Rorty: politics and vision / Christopher Voparil., 2006
  • Heidegger, Rorty, and the Eastern thinkers : a hermeneutics of cross-cultural understanding / Wei Zhang., 2006
  • Richard Rorty: his philosophy under discussion / Andreas Vieth., 2005
  • The concept of Rortyan Christian ironism / Odom, Barton Page., 2005
  • Richard Rorty / Charles B Guignon., 2003
  • Between Rorty and MacIntyre: A Kierkegaardian account of irony and moral commitment / Frazier, Bradley., 2003
  • Richard Rorty's American faith / Taub, Gad Shmuel., 2003
  • The ethical ironist: Kierkegaard, Rorty, and the educational quest / Rohrer, Patricia Jean., 2003
  • Doing philosophy as a way to individuation: Reading Rorty and Cavell / Kwak, Duck-Joo., 2003
  • Richard Rorty / Alan R Malachowski., 2002
  • Richard Rorty: critical dialogues / Matthew Festenstein., 2001
  • Richard Rorty: education, philosophy, and politics / Michael Peters., 2001
  • Religion and the Demise of Liberal Rationalism / Judd Owen., 2001
  • Rorty and his critics / Robert Brandom., 2000
  • On Rorty / Richard Rumana., 2000
  • Philosophy and freedom : Derrida, Rorty, Habermas, Foucault / John McCumber., 2000
  • A pragmatist's progress?: Richard Rorty and American intellectual history / John Pettegrew., 2000
  • Problems of the modern self: Reflections on Rorty, Taylor, Nietzsche, and Foucault / Dudrick, David Francis., 2000
  • The last conceptual revolution: a critique of Richard Rorty's political philosophy / Eric Gander., 1999
  • Cultural otherness : correspondence with Richard Rorty / Anindita Niyogi Balslev., 1999
  • The work of friendship : Rorty, his critics, and the project of solidarity / Dianne Rothleder., 1999
  • Pragmatism and political theory : from Dewey to Rorty / Matthew Festenstein., 1997
  • Debating the state of philosophy: Habermas, Rorty, and Kolakowski / Józef Niznik., 1996
  • For the love of perfection : Richard Rorty and liberal education / René Vincente Arcilla., 1995
  • Rorty & pragmatism: the philosopher responds to his critics / Herman J Saatkamp., 1995
  • Richard Rorty : prophet and poet of the new pragmatism / David L Hall., 1994
  • Without God or his doubles : realism, relativism, and Rorty / D Vaden House., 1994
  • Beyond postmodern politics : Lyotard, Rorty, Foucault / Honi Fern Haber., 1994
  • After the demise of the tradition : Rorty, critical theory, and the fate of philosophy/ Kai Nielsen., 1991
  • Reading Rorty: critical responses to Philosophy and the mirror of nature (and beyond) / Alan R Malachowski., 1990
  • Rorty's humanistic pragmatism : philosophy democratized / Konstantin Kolenda., 1990
  • Pragmatist Aesthetics / Richard Shusterman. Rowman Littlefield 2000. [esp. Chapter 9: 236-261)

Articles:

  • Rorty R / "The Fire of Life" POETRY / NOV 2007 [available online]
  • Lynch S / On Richard Rorty's use of the distinction between the private and the public

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES 15 (1): 97-120 MAR 2007

  • Dombrowski DA / Rorty versus Hartshorne, or, poetry versus metaphysics (Richard Rorty, Charles Hartshorne)

METAPHILOSOPHY 38 (1): 88-110 JAN 2007

  • Arriaga M / Richard Rorty's anti-foundationalism and traditional philosophy's claim of social relevance

INTERNATIONAL PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY 45 (4): 467-482 DEC 2005

  • Barthold LS / How hermeneutical is he? A gadamerian analysis of Richard Rorty

PHILOSOPHY TODAY 49 (3): 236-244 FAL 2005

  • Stieb JA / Rorty on realism and constructivism

METAPHILOSOPHY 36 (3): 272-294 APR 2005

  • Flaherty J / Rorty, religious beliefs, and pragmatism

INTERNATIONAL PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY 45 (2): 175-185 JUN 2005

  • Smith NH / Rorty on religion and hope

INQUIRY-AN INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY 48 (1): 76-98 FEB 2005

  • Santos RJ / Richard Rorty's philosophy of social hope

PHILOSOPHY TODAY 47 (4): 431-440 WIN 2003

  • Miller CB / Rorty and moral relativism

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY 10 (3): 354-374 DEC 2002

  • Abrams JJ / Aesthetics of self-fashioning and cosmopolitanism - Foucault and Rorty on the art of living

PHILOSOPHY TODAY 46 (2): 185-192 SUM 2002

  • Margolis J / Dewey's and Rorty's opposed pragmatisms

TRANSACTIONS OF THE CHARLES S PEIRCE SOCIETY 38 (1-2): 117-135 WIN-SPR 2002

  • Talisse RB / A pragmatist critique of Richard Rorty's hopeless politics

SOUTHERN JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY 39 (4): 611-626 WIN 2001

  • Picardi E / Rorty, Sorge and truth

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES 9 (3): 431-439 Sp. Iss. SI AUG 2001

  • McDermid DJ / Does epistemology rest on a mistake? Understanding Rorty on scepticism

CRITICA-REVISTA HISPANOAMERICANA DE FILOSOFIA 32 (96): 3-42 DEC 2000

  • Owens J / The obligations of irony: Rorty on irony, autonomy, and contingency

REVIEW OF METAPHYSICS 54 (1): 27-41 SEP 2000

  • Margolis J / Richard Rorty: Philosophy by other means

METAPHILOSOPHY 31 (5): 529-546 OCT 2000

  • Kompridis N / So we need something else for reason to mean

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES 8 (3): 271-295 OCT 2000

  • Cohen AJ / On Universalism: Commuitarians, Rorty, and ('Objectivist') 'liberal metaphysicians'

SOUTHERN JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY 38 (1): 39-75 SPR 2000

  • Rorty R / Response to Randall Peerenboom ('Rorty and the China Challenge')

PHILOSOPHY EAST & WEST 50 (1): 90-91 JAN 2000

  • Peerenboom R / The limits of irony: Rorty and the China challenge

PHILOSOPHY EAST & WEST 50 (1): 56-89 JAN 2000


See also

Analytic philosophy (sometimes, analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century. ... Contributions to liberal theory is a partial list of individual contributions on a worldwide scale. ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... This is a list of notable thinkers that have been influenced by deconstruction. ... Postanalytic philosophy describes a detachment from the mainstream philosophical movement of analytic philosophy, which is the predominant school of thought in English-speaking countries. ... Jacques Derrida Deconstruction-and-religion -- also known as weak theology and religion without religion -- is a nontheistic mode of thought that proceeds from a theological and deconstructive framework. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

Jürgen Habermas (IPA: ; born June 18, 1929) is a German philosopher and sociologist in the tradition of critical theory and American pragmatism. ... New Humanist is the leading journal of atheism, secularism and freethought in the UK. It has been published for 120 years, starting out as Wattss Literary Guide in November 1885. ... The University of Chicago Law School, having recently celebrated its centennial in the 2002-2003 school year, has established itself as a high profile part of the University of Chicago. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Dissent is a sentiment or philosophy of non-agreement or opposition to an idea (eg. ... First Things is a monthly ecumenical journal concerned with the creation of a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society (First Things website). ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b "Richard Rorty, distinguished public intellectual and controversial philosopher, dead at 75" (Stanford's announcement), June 10, 2007.
  2. ^ [1]Stanford Encyclopedia Of Philosophy
  3. ^ [2]Stanford Encyclopedia Of Philosophy
  4. ^ a b c "Richard Rorty, Philosopher, Dies at 75" (NY Times Obituary), June 11, 2007
  5. ^ Ryerson, James. "Essay: Thinking Cheerfully." The New York Times Book Review. July 22, 2007: p 27.
  6. ^ "Richard Rorty," (short obituary), June 9, 2007.
  7. ^ "The Fire of Life" by Richard Rorty
  8. ^ http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rorty/ (Last sentence of the introduction)
  9. ^ Amazon.com: Rorty and His Critics (Philosophers and their Critics): Robert B. Brandom: Books
  10. ^ "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
  11. ^ "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.'"[3]
  12. ^ The Philosophical Lexicon
  13. ^ Rob Reich - The Paradoxes of Education in Rorty's Liberal Utopia
  14. ^ Richard Rorty (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
  15. ^ Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. ISBN, p 44
  16. ^ Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. ISBN, p 48
Terry Eagleton (born in Salford, Lancashire (now Greater Manchester), England, on February 22, 1943) is a British literary critic and philosopher. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Richard Rorty - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1255 words)
Rorty combines pragmatism about truth and other matters with a 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 often draws on a broad range of other philosophers to support his views; Dewey is his favourite, but he has also called upon Heidegger, Wittgenstein, James and Hegel at different times.
Rorty considers himself to be a pragmatist, but some see his rejection of applying scientific method to the humanities as invalidating this claim.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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