Rorty’s Promise in Metaethics

Contemporary Pragmatism 14 (3):292-306 (2017)
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Abstract

Little attention is given to Richard Rorty’s metaethical views. No doubt this stems from the fact that most commentators are more interested in his metaphilosophical views; most see his metaethical views, offered in scattered passages, as just the downstream runoff from higher-level reflection. This article considers Rorty’s metaethics on their own merits, quite apart from whether his global picture works. I ultimately argue that Rorty’s metaethical outlook is attractive but beset by internal difficulties. Specifically, I contend that Rorty does not and cannot remain faithful to the methodological approach to metaethics for which he advocates. At the paper’s close, I gesture at a nearby methodological approach that best approximates Rorty’s metaethical methodology.

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Raff Donelson
Illinois Institute of Technology

Citations of this work

Ethical Pragmatism.Raff Donelson - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (4):383-403.
A Trilemma for Voparil. [REVIEW]Raff Donelson - 2022 - Contemporary Pragmatism 19 (4):410-416.
The Rorty-Dworkin Debate.Raff Donelson - 2021 - In Giancarlo Marchetti (ed.), The Ethics, Epistemology and Politics of Richard Rorty. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 50-63.

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References found in this work

What is Justified Belief?Alvin Goldman - 1979 - In George Pappas (ed.), Justification and Knowledge. Boston: D. Reidel. pp. 1-25.
Moral realism.Peter Railton - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (2):163-207.
“How to Be a Moral Realist.Richard Boyd - 1988 - In G. Sayre-McCord (ed.), Essays on Moral Realism. Cornell University Press. pp. 181-228.
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Objectivity and Truth: You’d Better Believe it.Ronald Dworkin - 1996 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 25 (2):87-139.

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