Rortian Realism

Metaphilosophy 49 (1-2):90-114 (2018)


This paper motivates and defends “Rortian realism,” a position that is Rortian in respect of its underlying philosophical theses but non-Rortian in terms of the lessons it draws from these for cultural politics. The philosophical theses amount to what the paper calls Rorty's “anti-representationalism”, arguing that AR is robust to critique as being anti-realist, relativist, or sceptical, invoking Rorty's historicism/ethnocentrism as part of the defence. The latter, however, creates problems for Rorty in so far as his reformative views on the nature of philosophical and academic activity are meant to be foisted on an academy that ex hypothesi holds views different from these. The paper suggests we can motivate a different conception of the consequences of AR more amenable to the academy: Rortian realism, a view that makes greater concessions to realism and a kind of scientific naturalism than Rorty would like, but that for those very reasons is more likely to allow AR to prevail.

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References found in this work

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):278-279.
Making It Explicit.Isaac Levi & Robert B. Brandom - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):145.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Alvin I. Goldman - 1979 - Philosophical Review 90 (3):424-429.
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - The Personalist Forum 5 (2):149-152.

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Citations of this work

Anti-representasjonalisme og realisme.Jonathan Knowles - 2019 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 54 (1-02):55-69.

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