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Rorty’s Ambivalent Relationship with Kant

Rorty’s Ambivalent Relationship with Kant I argue that Kant is a key figure in understanding Rorty’s work, by drawing attention to the fact that although he is ostensibly the principal villain of Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature , at the end of that book Kant provides the basis of Rorty's positive proposal that we view the world “bifocally”. I show how this idea was re-worked as “irony” in Continency, Irony, and Solidarity , and became central to Rorty’s outlook. However, by allowing this Kantian influence into his thinking, Rorty made his position untenable. For Rortyan pragmatism undercuts the higher stance required by the concept of irony; and yet without this Kantian influence, Rorty would have been unable to justify his pluralism. Rorty could not live with Kant but could not live without him either. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Rorty’s Ambivalent Relationship with Kant

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 13 (3): 298 – Aug 23, 2016

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2016 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Articles
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-01303004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I argue that Kant is a key figure in understanding Rorty’s work, by drawing attention to the fact that although he is ostensibly the principal villain of Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature , at the end of that book Kant provides the basis of Rorty's positive proposal that we view the world “bifocally”. I show how this idea was re-worked as “irony” in Continency, Irony, and Solidarity , and became central to Rorty’s outlook. However, by allowing this Kantian influence into his thinking, Rorty made his position untenable. For Rortyan pragmatism undercuts the higher stance required by the concept of irony; and yet without this Kantian influence, Rorty would have been unable to justify his pluralism. Rorty could not live with Kant but could not live without him either.

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Aug 23, 2016

Keywords: Rorty; Kant; irony; metaphilosophy; pluralism

References