An Annotated Bibliography of Secondary Literature
Achieving Our Country is usually regarded as one of Richard Rorty’s more minor works, but lately the book has been given new legs. 1 Thanks to a widely circulated passage from Achieving Our Country , discussed in the New York Times , the Guardian, The New Yorker and elsewhere
Richard Rorty’s philosophy has two basic commitments: one to postmodernism and the other to liberalism. However, these commitments generate tension. As a postmodernist, he sharply criticizes the Enlightenment; as a liberal, he forcefully defends it. His postmodernist liberalism actually explains liberalism using irrationalism.
Rosa Maria Calcaterra
required to state their claims in a form that is accessible to all reasonable people. Richard Rorty and Nicholas Wolterstorff provide considerably different responses to this set of questions. As I will examine in greater depth, Rorty wishes to restrict the public square to those who are willing to engage
Bertrand Russell, one could be forgiven for thinking that an American philosophy of history would be little more than a celebration of the nation’s vaunted exceptionalism. For many, the work of Richard Rorty typifies this supposedly American disregard for philosophical rigor. 1 Rorty’s characteristic
John P. Anderson
,” “cultural politics,” or “identity politics” – but I refer to it more generally as the open competition model. Richard Rorty saw things differently. For Rorty, the post-secular world signals liberalism’s coming of age. It puts liberal democracies in a position to “throw away some of the ladders used in
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. Rorty tells us that we need not choose between these sources of normativity, but can see each as applicable to two, non-conflicting parts of our lives. I contend that Rorty’s solution rests on a misunderstanding of the upshots of contingency and of the conditions of personhood. I argue that Hegel provides a more compelling resolution of the tension between public obligation and private autonomy.
Too little attention is paid to Richard Rorty’s metaethical views, besides the passing (and unclear) claim that he was some type of moral relativist. This inattention probably stems from the fact that Rorty’s metaethical musings are scattered across his oeuvre; there is no go-to place for reading
… “[T]he extent of your cooperation in social projects is a proper object of public concern, but your private projects are your own business, as long as they can be carried out within the framework of just laws and institutions.” — Richard Rorty , “Intellectual Autobiography” (2010b