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Anti-Authoritarianism as a Liberal Culture: Richard Rorty Between Communitarian and Liberal Criticism

In: Contemporary Pragmatism
Author:
Lucas von Ramin Department of Philosophy, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany, lucas.ramin@tu-dresden.de

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Abstract

In recent years, Rorty’s anti-authoritarianism has been repeatedly associated with the loss of truth and a post-factual age. At the same time, Rorty is presented as a strict opponent of such positions. How is it that the same thinker who is held responsible for a postmodern decline is also to be understood as the most severe critic? To answer this question, this paper reconstructs Rorty’s anti-authoritarianism as a practice of solidarity by referring to his theory of recognition and virtue of contingency. Subsequently, it can be shown why the accusations of post-facticity and ethnocentrism fall short. On the contrary, because his theory combines different political archetypes, the paper presents Rorty’s description of anti-authoritarianism as a social paradigm of contemporary societies.

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