The idea of emancipation from a cosmopolitan point of view

Continental Philosophy Review 33 (4):395-416 (2000)
Abstract
R. Rorty uncouples cosmopolitanism from emancipation and rejects the latter on both phylogenetic and ontogenetic grounds. Thus: 1. There is no human nature to be emancipated, and 2. The notion of a rational, transcendental and conditioning subject (presupposed by traditional theories of emancipation) is obsolete. He preserves the idea of cosmopolitanism, which, in an effort to avoid foundationalisrn, he associates only with the development and progress of liberal societies. His cosmopolitanism relies on the distinction between persuasion and force and his preference for conversation over rational discourse. In this paper, I discuss Rorty''s claims and trace residues of biologism, positivism, and behaviourism in them. By putting forward an immanent critique of Rorty''s account of cosmopolitanism and emancipation, I defend a non-foundationalist notion of redemption as self-realization and propose a new justification of Rorty''s distinction between force and persuasion.
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