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On the Passing of Richard Rorty and the Future of American Philosophy

On the Passing of Richard Rorty and the Future of American Philosophy Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 4, No. 2 (December 2007), 35­44 Editions Rodopi © 2007 The passing of Richard Rorty is an event to mark in the annals of American philosophy ­ the passing of a spirit-guide to some, and of a dark shadow to others, but certainly that of an original, iconoclastic thinker who brought classical American pragmatism back into the contemporary philosophical conversation, and who got philosophers telling stories of achieving a long-loved dream of democracy. I outline a twelve-point agenda for productive future philosophical wrangles with Rorty, highlighting his metaphysical nominalism, antireligious ironism, and "Western bourgeois liberal democracy." If we adopt Dewey's image of the philosopher's task ... we have to drop both the Marxist distinction between science and ideology and the distinction, deployed by both Russell and Husserl, between the a priori and the a posteriori. More generally, we have to drop all attempts to make philosophy as autonomous an activity as it was thought to be before philosophers began taking time seriously. Dewey, but not Russell, can adopt Locke's suggestion that role of the philosopher is that of an under-laborer, clearing away the rubbish of the past in order to make room for the constructions http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

On the Passing of Richard Rorty and the Future of American Philosophy

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 4 (2): 35 – Apr 21, 2007

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2007 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000070
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 4, No. 2 (December 2007), 35­44 Editions Rodopi © 2007 The passing of Richard Rorty is an event to mark in the annals of American philosophy ­ the passing of a spirit-guide to some, and of a dark shadow to others, but certainly that of an original, iconoclastic thinker who brought classical American pragmatism back into the contemporary philosophical conversation, and who got philosophers telling stories of achieving a long-loved dream of democracy. I outline a twelve-point agenda for productive future philosophical wrangles with Rorty, highlighting his metaphysical nominalism, antireligious ironism, and "Western bourgeois liberal democracy." If we adopt Dewey's image of the philosopher's task ... we have to drop both the Marxist distinction between science and ideology and the distinction, deployed by both Russell and Husserl, between the a priori and the a posteriori. More generally, we have to drop all attempts to make philosophy as autonomous an activity as it was thought to be before philosophers began taking time seriously. Dewey, but not Russell, can adopt Locke's suggestion that role of the philosopher is that of an under-laborer, clearing away the rubbish of the past in order to make room for the constructions

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2007

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