In J. Tartaglia (ed.), Richard Rorty: Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers. Routledge (2009)

William M. Goodman
University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology
After some years (or millennia) most works would no longer be considered eligible for "review." But an exception is called for, if the thrust of an older work is closely paralleled in a much more modern piece, as is the case between Plato's Theaetetus and Richard Rorty's acclaimed, and more recent volume, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. To fully understand and appreciate Rorty 's contribution to the subjects he raises, one must study his book in conjunction with Plato's Theaetetus-where very similar issues have been discussed before. Both works concern a central question for philosophy: "What is knowledge?" The discussants in Plato's dialogue the Theaetetus, never do succeed in finding a satisfactory definition for knowledge, yet they at least realize to avoid thinking they know about the subject when, in fact, they lack that knowledge. Since Rorty explores some new (and not so new) ideas on these topics, Plato's discussants ask him a few questions. (Reprinted from original in Antioch Review)
Keywords Plato  Theaetetus  Rorty  Epistemology  Knowledge
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