The Differences That Make a Difference: A Comment on Richard Bernstein

In contrast to Bernstein's emphasis on the common ground shared by Rorty and Habermas, this paper stresses the basic differences between them, particularly their diverse assessments of rationalism, universalism, foundationalism and developmentalism, as well as their opposed evaluations of systematic thought and critical social theory. Several difficulties with Rorty's views on reason, truth and objectivity, as with his historicism and physicalism are suggested. It is concluded that Bernstein's emphasis on the common elements in their "moral-political vision", in the face of these striking theoretical differences, overestimates the extent to which normative ideals can survive being cut off from larger contexts of ideas.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Richard J. Bernstein (1982). What is the Difference That Makes a Difference? Gadamer, Habermas, and Rorty. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:331 - 359.
    Charles B. Guignon (1982). Saving the Differences: Gadamer and Rorty. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:360 - 367.
    Richard J. Bernstein (2008). Richard Rorty's Deep Humanism. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 29 (2):53-69.
    Roberto Frega (2011). Richard Bernstein and the Challenge of a Broadened Pragmatism. European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 3 (2):218-221.

    Monthly downloads

    Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

    Added to index


    Total downloads


    Recent downloads (6 months)


    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.