Problems with Rorty’s Pragmatist Defense of Liberalism

Journal of Philosophical Research 25:345-362 (2000)
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Abstract

Richard Rorty’s attempts to defend liberalism by appeal to pragmatism fail primarily as a result of his conflation of epistemological and political concepts. It is this confusion that leads him to defend unpalatable political views. Once the question of pragmatism is properly distinguished from the question of liberalism, it becomes clear that criticisms of Rorty’s politics have no bearing on his views of philosophy and, similarly, that acceptance of Rorty’s critique of philosophy does not commit pragmatists to his political views.

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Paul Forster
University of Ottawa

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