Does Analytic Philosophy Terminate in Pragmatism?

History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 5 (1):111-140 (2002)
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Abstract

Over the last several decades, Richard Rorty has developed a compelling metaphilosophical theory on the history of analytic philosophy. On this telling, analytic philosophy was atavistic from the outset, a forlorn attempt to reinstate scheme/content distinctions. Rather than asking whether our claims "correspond" to some nonhuman, eternal way the world is, we should ask about their pragmatic utility. On Rorty's account, analytic philosophy terminates in pragmatism. In this paper, I argue against this assessment of the fate of our tradition. More specifically, I argue against Rorty's indictment of the notion of correspondence truth. My aim is to show that correspondence truth, in providing an indispensable background for the intelligibility of pragmatism, is not the needless dogma that Rorty takes it to be. Rorty's pragmatism, I thus argue, fails to be a freestanding doctrine.

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Ronald Wilburn
University of Calgary

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References found in this work

Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Consequences of Pragmatism: Essays 1972-1980.Richard Rorty - 1982 - University of Minnesota Press.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Richard Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.
On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.Donald Davidson - 1973 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 47:5-20.
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - The Personalist Forum 5 (2):149-152.

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