Ethnocentrism, social contract liberalism and positivistic-conservatism: Rorty's three theses on politics
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Res Publica 6 (1):1-23 (2000)
In this article I argue that Rorty has three separatearguments for liberalism. The pragmatic-ethnocentric argument for liberalism,as a system which works for `us liberals'', is rejectedfor entailing relativism. The social contract argument results in an extreme formof individualism. This renders politics redundantbecause there is no need for the (liberal) state toprotect poetic individuals, who are capable ofdefending themselves. Even if the less able areharmed, the state could not prevent this, givenRorty''s arguments about discursive enrichment withina language game. Finally, the positivistic-conservative argument legitimisesliberal politics by fiat, and makes normativediscussion about the status quo illegitimate. Herethe argument is that politics is a matter of reactivetechnical piecemeal problem-solving, to restore theharmony of the status quo. As politics deals with`facts'', normative `problematisations'' of thefunctional status quo are illegitimate (in the public/political sphere). So, either anything goes, andpolitics is redundant, or discussion of politics isdepoliticised and confined to the private sphere.Consequently, Rorty has no way to explore issues ofpower, or normative contestation. Therefore he isunable to address issues of social justice withinliberal democracies, such as feminist arguments aboutan ascribed gender status limiting equalityof opportunity.
|Keywords||equality of opportunity gender liberalism pragmatic-ethnocentric argument Rorty social contract argument|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Justin Cruickshank (2007). Postmodern Politics: Rorty on the Self, Agency and Liberalism. Journal of Critical Realism 1 (2).
Michele Marsonet (1996). Richard Rorty's Ironic Liberalism. Journal of Philosophical Research 21:391-403.
B. Fanning & T. Mooney (2010). Pragmatism and Intolerance: Nietzsche and Rorty. Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (6):735-755.
Jeremy Shearmur (2001). Ideas in Politics. Teaching Co..
Paul D. Forster (2000). Problems with Rorty's Pragmatist Defense of Liberalism. Journal of Philosophical Research 25:345-362.
Craig L. Carr (2010). Liberalism and Pluralism: The Politics of E Pluribus Unum. Palgrave Macmillan.
Nancy Fraser (2000). Why Overcoming Prejudice is Not Enough: A Rejoinder to Richard Rorty. Critical Horizons 1 (1):21-28.
Glen Newey (2001). After Politics: The Rejection of Politics in Contemporary Liberal Philosophy. Palgrave.
David Rondel (2009). Liberalism, Ethnocentrism, and Solidarity: Reflections on Rorty. Journal of Philosophical Research 34:55-68.
Rudi Visker (1999). 'Hold the Being': How to Split Rorty Between Irony and Finitude. Philosophy and Social Criticism 25 (2):27-45.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads18 ( #96,851 of 1,099,731 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #51,106 of 1,099,731 )
How can I increase my downloads?