Humanist Battles and Embattled Humanists: Neointerventionism, Neopragmatism, and the Coloniality of Truth

Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (supplement S1):93-115 (2018)
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This paper examines conceptions of truth and “the human” in an effort to engage contemporary discussions of neointerventionism. A central question in the paper is whether one facet of the self‐justifying structure of neointerventionism is an operative framing of theories of truth underlying the explanans sought by foreign policy officials and state actors. To address this question, I turn to an unlikely source within philosophy of language, neopragmatist theorist Richard Rorty, to offer an example of an antirepresentationalist and nonobjectivist description of truth that may help explain the terms and stakes of neointerventionist policies. My claim, however, will be, following the critical insights of Cornel West, Chantal Mouffe, and Sylvia Wynter, that neopragmatist efforts of the sort outlined by Rorty, while sophisticated in their analyses of the nature of truth and forms of justification, fail to thoroughly engage the political conception of “the human” that orders and frames debates regarding objectivity and solidarity. I conclude by returning to the problematic of neointerventionism from Wynter’s framings of what she calls the “coloniality of truth” and “embattled humanisms.”



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Andrea Pitts
University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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References found in this work

Objectivity, relativism, and truth.Richard Rorty - 1991 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - The Personalist Forum 5 (2):149-152.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Richard Rorty - 1979 - Philosophy 56 (217):427-429.
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.Richard Rorty - 1979 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 86 (4):562-563.
Philosophy and Social Hope.Richard Rorty - 1999 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 58 (3):714-716.

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