Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth : Philosophical Papers
Richard Rorty's collected papers, written during the 1980s and now published in two volumes, take up some of the issues which divide Anglo-Saxon analytic philosophers and contemporary French and German philosophers and offer something of a compromise - agreeing with the latter in their criticisms of traditional notions of truth and objectivity, but disagreeing with them over the political implications they draw from dropping traditional philosophical doctrines. In this volume Rorty offers a Deweyan account of objectivity as intersubjectivity, one that drops claims about universal validity and instead focuses on utility for the purposes of a community. The sense in which the natural sciences are exemplary for inquiry is explicated in terms of the moral virtues of scientific communities rather than in terms of a special scientific method. The volume concludes with reflections on the relation of social democratic politics to philosophy.
- Paperback | 238 pages
- 150 x 227 x 19mm | 360g
- 30 Nov 1990
- Cambridge University Press
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
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Back cover copy
This book is about antirepresentationalism, ethnocentrism, and liberalism. This is the first volume of a collection of papers written between 1980 and 1989. The papers in this volume take up, for the most part, issues and figures within analytic philosophy. Those in the second volume deal mostly with issues arising out of the work of Heidegger, Derrida, and Foucault.
Table of contents
Acknowledgments; Introduction: antirepresentationalism, ethnocentrism, and liberalism; Part I. Solidarity or Objectivity?: 1. Science as solidarity; 2. Is natural science a natural kind?; 3. Pragmatism without method; 4. Texts and lumps; 5. Inquiry as recontextualization: an anti-dualist account of interpretation; Part II. Non-Reductive Physicalism: 5. Pragmatism, Davidson and truth; 6. Representation, social practice, and truth; 7. Unfamiliar noises: Hesse and Davidson on metaphor; PART III. The Priority of Democracy to Philosophy: 8. Postmodernist bourgeois liberalism; 9. On ethnocentrism: a reply to Clifford Geertz; 10. Cosmopolitanism without emancipation: a response to Jean-Francois Lyotard; Index of names.
"This book is stimulating and challenging. The topics covered are diverse enough to capture the attention of almost any academic audience. Rorty introduces a variety of fresh and exciting ideas." Arnold Lorenzo Farr, disClosure