Human Affairs 21 (3):272-279 (2011)

Tomas Marvan
Czech Academy of Sciences
The paper addresses the recurrent charge that Richard Rorty is a “linguistic idealist”. I show what the charge consists of and try to explain that there is a charitable reading of Rorty’s works, according to which he is not guilty of linguistic idealism. This reading draws on Putnam’s well-known conception of “internal realism” and accounts for the causal independence of the world on our linguistic practices. I also show how we can reconcile this causal independence of things and the sense of our discourse being guided by them with our autonomy with regard to the construction of various “vocabularies” with which we describe, or cope with, reality. In the final part, I address in some detail Rorty’s animadversions concerning the idea of the intrinsic nature of reality. I show them to be only partly successful
Keywords Rorty  linguistic idealism  internal realism  intrinsic structure of reality  representation
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DOI 10.2478/s13374-011-0028-2
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References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Consequences of Pragmatism: Essays 1972-1980.Richard Rorty - 1982 - University of Minnesota Press.

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