Reconsidering Richard Rorty’s Private-Public Distinction

Humanities (2013)

Authors
Lior Erez
University of Haifa
Abstract
This article provides a new interpretation of Richard Rorty’s notion of the private-public distinction. The first section of the article provides a short theoretical overview of the origins of the public-private distinction in Rorty’s political thought and clarifies the Rortian terminology. The main portion of the article is dedicated to the critique of Rorty’s private-public distinction, divided into two thematic sections: (i) the private-public distinction as undesirable and (ii) the private-public distinction as unattainable. I argue that Rorty’s formulation provides plausible answers to the first kind of criticism, but not to the second. Finally, a reformulation of the private-public distinction will be suggested, which both mitigates the second line of criticism and better coheres with Rorty’s general theory.
Keywords Rorty, Richard  pragmatism and neo-pragmatism  public-private distinction  liberalism  political theory
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References found in this work BETA

Religion in the Public Square: A Reconsideration.Richard Rorty - 2003 - Journal of Religious Ethics 31 (1):141-149.
Trotsky and the Wild Orchids.Richard Rorty - 1992 - Common Knowledge 1 (3):140-153.
Rorty, Religion and the Public–Private Distinction.L. S. Barthold - 2012 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (8):861-878.

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