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Blog // Thoughts
June 11, 2007

Richard Rorty

Friday saw the passing of Richard Rorty (NYT Obituary and comment from InterBreeding). Rorty was a powerful thinker and quite possibly one of the most influential philosophers of all time. His work had a deep impact on my own intellectual development, especially as I started to understand postmodernism. More than any other philosopher, Rorty provided […]

Friday saw the passing of Richard Rorty (NYT Obituary and comment from InterBreeding). Rorty was a powerful thinker and quite possibly one of the most influential philosophers of all time.

His work had a deep impact on my own intellectual development, especially as I started to understand postmodernism. More than any other philosopher, Rorty provided support for unravelling naive representations of postmodernism, from either adherants or adversaries. The following quote, which I’ve referenced a few times, summarises the kind of social vision that Rorty espoused

“I want to see freely arrived at agreement as agreement on how to accomplish common purposes (e.g., prediction and control of the behaviour of atoms or people, equalizing life-chances, decreasing cruelty), but I want to see these common purposes against the background of an increasing sense of the radical diversity of private purposes, of the radically poetic character of individual lives, and of the merely poetic foundations of the ‘we-consciousness’ which lies behind our social institutions.”

From, Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, pps67-8

[tags] Richard Rorty [/tags]

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