Naturalism and Metaphors

European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 3 (1):163-175 (2011)
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This paper outlines a pragmatist aesthetic theory on the basis of themes relating to naturalism, metaphor, and solidarity found in Richard Rorty’s neopragmatism. A central part of this attempt is to show that some previous readings of Rorty’s work in aesthetics are misguided. I begin by raising aspects of Rorty’s work that have been previously largely overlooked in aesthetics and philosophy of art, and which I believe undermine particularly Richard Shusterman’s critical reading of Rorty. I shall then move on to discuss the social role Rorty assigns to metaphors in his postmetaphysical liberalist culture and argue that the social and cultural view of art and the aesthetic Rorty’s philosophy of literature contains overlaps in some significant respects with some central points of John Dewey’s pragmatist aesthetics. I close by outlining some new set of issues for pragmatist aesthetics that emerge from the discussion of Rorty’s work presented in the paper.



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Kalle Puolakka
University of Helsinki

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References found in this work

What Metaphors Mean.Donald Davidson - 1978 - Critical Inquiry 5 (1):31-47.
What metaphors mean.Donald Davidson - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing about language. New York: Routledge. pp. 31.
Aesthetic experience: From analysis to Eros.Richard Shusterman - 2006 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (2):217–229.

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