Rorty's liberal utopia and Huxley's island

Philosophy and Literature 35 (1):91-103 (2011)
Eschewing conventional candidates, like Plato's Republic or Machiavelli's Prince, Richard Rorty praises Aldous Huxley's Brave New World as "the best introduction to political philosophy," because it shows us "what sort of human future would be produced by a naturalism untempered by historicist Romanticism, and by a politics aimed merely at alleviating mammalian pain."1 Huxley's celebrated dystopia is thus a poignant warning to our modern utilitarian political projects. Yet Rorty also suggests that utopian literature can play a positive and inspirational role for liberal politics, and even dubs his own political ideal, "liberal utopia." Rorty's liberal utopia is not an impossible society bereft of political ..
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DOI 10.1353/phl.2011.0009
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