John Dewey and Richard Rorty: Qualitative starting points

This paper attempts a sympathetic comparison between John Dewey and Richard Rorty. In particular I establish the ways in which both Dewey's and Rorty's aesthetical modes require qualitative starting points (or some indeterminate-event trajectory) as a condition for any poetic/novel movement into the future. I show how Dewey's notions of "indeterminate situation," highlighted in his event-metaphysics, resonates with Rorty's notion of metaphor, and that finally Rorty does in fact (wittingly or not) harbor a place for the noncognitive and nonlinguistic via, interestingly enough, a linguistic device. How Rorty uses his notion of metaphor (inspired by Donald Davidson's groundbreaking work) starts very much to take on the feel of what Dewey meant by "primary experience." My emphasis, then, falls on the necessity to both of their respective pragmatic positions of a qualitative starting point (QSP). In this way, the troubling dualism that has developed between experience and language starts to dissolve.
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