Rorty's Point of Departure from Mainstream Pragmatist Approach to Epistemology

Philosophy Study 2 (11):845-850 (2012)
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Our main focus in this paper is to try to show Rorty’s point of departure from mainstream pragmatist treatment of epistemology. In his pragmatic approach to epistemology, Rorty urges that a good pragmatist should abandon epistemology as a foundational and rational discipline and instead opt for conversation, the view that knowledge is an expression of judgment of a historically conditioned social group. According to Rorty, the view that we should disentangle ourselves from rigid canons of epistemology is the quest of classical pragmatism traceable to the writings of William James and John Dewey. On this showing, Rorty argues that conversationalism is consistent with mainstream or original pragmatism. Contrary to Rorty’s claim we try to show, in the following pages, that his pragmatic approach to epistemology is a deviation from mainstream pragmatism. We establish that mainstream or classical pragmatists do not repudiate epistemology.



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