Language, mind, and world: Can't we all just get along?

Metaphilosophy 39 (3):363–380 (2008)
This article addresses recent claims made by Richard Rorty about antirepresentationalist theories of meaning. Rorty asserts that a faithful rendering of the core antirepresentationalist assumptions precludes even revised pieces of representationalist semantics like "refers" or "true" and epistemological correlates like "answering to the facts." Rorty even asserts that such notions invite reactionary authoritarian elements that would impede the development of a democratic humanism. I reject this claim and assert that such notions (suitably constructed) pose no greater threat to democratic humanism than the alternatives and in fact are crucial to its maintenance and continuing success. These notions (suitably constructed) reflect a metatheoretical stance that I call "openness," which I believe lies at the heart of both democratic humanism and the pragmatism from which Rorty claims to take his inspiration.
Keywords Rorty  Brandom  knowledge  objectivity  humanism  antirepresentationalism
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