Richard Rorty and the Righteous Among the Nations

Journal of Applied Philosophy 12 (2):151-173 (1995)
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Richard Rorty has proposed the hypothesis that those who came to the rescue of Jews in Nazi Europe are more likely to have been moved to help by parochialist sorts of consideration — sympathy for a colleague, fellow national, and the like — than they are by universalist motives having to do with the proper treatment of human beings. Although inconclusive on many other points, the research on rescuer behaviour during the Holocaust embodies a consensus contrary to Rorty's hypothesis; and extensive reference to the rescuers’own testimony supports that consensus.



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