Arguably the most influential of all contemporary English-speaking philosophers, Richard Rorty has transformed the way many inside and outside philosophy think about the discipline and the traditional ways of practising it. Drawing on a wide range of thinkers from Darwin and James to Quine, Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Derrida, Rorty has injected a bold anti-foundationalist vision into philosophical debate, into discussions in literary theory, communication studies, political theory and education, and, as public intellectual, into national debates about the responsibilities of America (...) in the modern world. The essays in this volume offer a balanced exposition and critique of Rorty's views on knowledge, language, truth, science, morality and politics. The editorial introduction presents a valuable overview of Rorty's philosophical vision. Written by a distinguished team of philosophers, this volume will have an unusual appeal outside philosophy to students in the social sciences, literary studies, cultural studies and political theory. (shrink)
The role of power and its relation to values has become a topic of growing interest in business ethics as well as in the literature of management and the sociology of organizations. Though there is more interest in the role and potential for abuse of power in corporations, the concept of power drawn from classical political theory and initial behavioral studies of power in organizations is inadequate for understanding the place, complexity and ethics of power in the corporation. Analyses of (...) power drawn from recent political theory can provide a more fine-grained and illuminating understanding of power than has been available from classical political theory and social science literature. I distinguish three approaches: the behavioral model commonly employed, the ideological model which comes out of the political theory of certain neo-Marxists, and what I call the disciplinary model drawn form Michel Foucault's analysis of modern forms of power. I suggest areas of working life and ethical issues about the relation between power and values that can be illuminated by these alternate analyses. (shrink)
In his final collection of philosophical papers, Richard Rorty continued his attack on the traditional conception of philosophy by arguing that many of our debates should be thought of as matters of cultural politics rather than about ontology or truth. Consistent with that view, Rorty had argued that we come to see debates about human rights not as an attempt to ground rights in human nature but rather as attempts to expand our moral imagination. I extend this claim to an (...) account of human rights as political rather than metaphysical, an account that treats human rights as a political innovation to be justified in terms of the work of human rights. (shrink)
RORTY'S INITIAL VERSION OF MATERIALISM HAS RECEIVED TWO\nLINES OF CRITICISM. ONE HAS BEEN THE CHARGE BY LYCAN AND\nPAPAS THAT HIS FORM OF ELIMINATIVE MATERIALISM IS\nINCOHERENT. THE OTHER, PRESSED BY BERNSTEIN AND CORNMAN,\nMAINTAINS THAT IT IS INADEQUATE. I SHOW THAT RORTY CAN MEET\nBOTH CRITICISMS BUT IN MEETING THEM THE PLAUSIBILITY OF HIS\nPOSITION BECOMES DETACHED FROM ANY SPECIFICALLY\nMATERIALISTIC CLAIMS. RATHER, IT SIMPLY BECOMES A\nNIHILISTIC CLAIM ABOUT DESCRIPTIVE VOCABULARIES.
The triumph of democracy has been heralded as one of the greatest achievements of the twentieth century, yet it seems to be in a relatively fragile condition in the United States, if one is to judge by the proliferation of editorials, essays, and books that focus on politics and distrust of government. Doubt and the Demands of Democratic Citizenship explores the reasons for public discontent and proposes an account of democratic citizenship appropriate for a robust democracy. David Hiley argues that (...) citizenship is more than participating in the electoral process. It requires a capacity to participate in the deliberative process with other citizens who might disagree, a capacity that combines deep convictions with a willingness to subject those convictions. Hiley develops his argument by examining the connection between doubt and democracy generally, as well as through case studies of Socrates, Montaigne, and Rousseau, interpreting them in light of contemporary issues. (shrink)