Pragmatic Liberalism and the Critique of Modernity

Pragmatic Liberalism and the Critique of Modernity

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In this book Gary Gutting offers a powerful account of the nature of human reason in modern times. The fundamental question addressed by the book is what authority human reason can still claim once it is acknowledged that our fundamental metaphysical and religious pictures of the world no longer command allegiance. If ethics and science remain sources of authority what is the basis of that authority? Gutting develops answers to these questions through critical analysis of the work of three dominant philosophical voices in our time: Richard Rorty, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Charles Taylor. His own position is defined as 'pragmatic liberalism'.show more

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"Overall, Guttings book is valuable for its fair and scholarly attention to the ongoing pragmatic critique of modernity as well as for his own reasonable contribution to that dicussion. While it may seem out of place in a series of books on modern European philosophy, it will be of value to those interested in such philosophy for its clear discussion of pragmatic postmodernism as well as for Gutting's interesting opening and closing remarks on the relationship between analytic and continental philosophy." Ethicsshow more

Table of contents

Introduction: the question of modernity; Part I. Richard Rorty: The Rudiments of Pragmatic Liberalism: 1. The philosophy of representations; 2. Knowledge without representations; 3. Justification as a social practice; 4. The problem of truth; 5. Davidsonian therapy; 6. Truth and science; 7. Ethics without foundations; 8. Liberal ironism; Part II. Alasdaire MacIntyre: A Modern Malgre Lui: 1. MacIntyre's critique of the enlightenment; 2. Which enlightenment?; 3. In defense of enlightenment humanism; 4. The lure of tradition; 5. The tradition of the virtues; 6. MacIntyre and modernity; 7. MacIntyre versus pragmatic liberalism; Part III. Charles Taylor: An Augustinian Modern: 1. Taylor's historical project; 2. Locke and the radical enlightenment; 3. The primacy of everyday life; 4. Beyond the enlightenment: evil, romanticism, and poetic truth; 5. Taylor's critique of naturalism; 6. Williams and objectivity; 7. Naturalism and hypergoods: pragmatic liberalism; Conclusion.show more

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