Pragmatism, Realism, and Science. From Argument to Propaganda

In A. Vieth (ed.), Richard Rorty. His Philosophy under Discussion. Frankfurt am Main: ontos. pp. 65-78 (2005)
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Abstract

Richard Rorty is well known as a propagandist of pragmatism and of a "post-philosophical" culture in which many traditional philosophical debates are dismissed as outrightly fruitless. The paper is mainly concerned with Rorty's dismissal of the realism-antirealism debate. The shift from argument to propaganda which is typical of much of Rorty's reasoning is critically investigated from different perspectives. In particular, it is argued that Rorty cannot convincingly establish a pragmatist position beyond realism and antirealism, and that pragmatism seems to be inadequate with respect to scientific practice. Finally, the fruitfulness of the realism-antirealism debate is defended.

Author Profiles

Marius Backmann
University of Konstanz
T. Raja Rosenhagen
Ashoka University (Sonipat, India)
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