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My goal in this paper is to determine whether there exists good reason to apply to Rorty the label “deliberative democrat.” There are elements of Rorty’s work that count both for and against applying this label, which I investigate here. I conclude that, if we can conceive of a deliberative...
It has become all too common in discussing Rorty’s work, to distinguish the reasonable and constructive Rorty from the outrageous, destructive and irresponsible enfant terrible of twentieth century American philosophy. According to this familiar reading, one can unproblematically distinguish...
In an often-quoted passage, Richard Rorty wrote that “J.S. Mill’s suggestion that governments devote themselves to optimizing the balance between leaving people’s lives alone and preventing suffering seems to me pretty much the last word.” In this article, I show why, for Rorty, maintaining a...
Little attention is given to Richard Rorty’s metaethical views. No doubt this stems from the fact that most commentators are more interested in his metaphilosophical views; most see his metaethical views, offered in scattered passages, as just the downstream runoff from higher-level reflection....
What is the cash value of Richard Rorty’s philosophy and politics of religion? This paper analyzes the political promise of Rorty’s shift from atheism to anticlericalism in the last decade of his life. It seeks to deliver primarily a concise summary of this shift, and of its transformative...
Among the deeper strata of Rorty’s philosophy is what I call his aversion to normative violence. Normative violence occurs when some specific group presents itself as having a privileged relation to reality. The alternative to normative violence is recognizing that cultural politics has priority...
I read Rorty’s Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity as an attempt to reconcile two, seemingly conflicting, sources of authority and obligation. Some believe that persons are obligated by reason or God to promote just institutions. While others locate authority and obligation solely in the self....
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