Rorty as a Legitimate Member of the Pragmatist Family

European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 12 (1) (2020)
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The paper will focus on Rorty’s project as it emerges in the compelling introductions to his books from Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature onwards. Even disagreeing with his conclusions, some interesting items suggest that Rorty was a legitimate member of the pragmatist family and that he shared with classic pragmatists much more than a reader can see at first glance. First, Rorty understood better than anyone else that the fight against Kant’s rationalism is crucial to pragmatism considered as a whole. He paralleled Kantism with the history of explaining knowledge as a mirroring representation and he wanted to get rid of it. Second, Rorty shared with classic pragmatists what I call the “synthetic drive” of philosophy, namely, the view of philosophy as the habit of action of looking at anything in a way that makes it “hang together with everything else.” Third, the outcome of the synthetic drive is conceiving philosophy as a transformative activity. In all these cases, Rorty took roads at odds with classic pragmatism but he did not betray the general aim and spirit of the American movement of thought.



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Giovanni Maddalena
Università Del Molise

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Interview with Hilary Putnam.Michela Bella, Anna Boncompagni & Hilary Putnam - 2015 - European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 7 (1).
Interview with Larry A. Hickman.Michela Bella, Matteo Santarelli & Larry A. Hickman - 2015 - European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 7 (2).

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