Comment on Rorty

In A. J. Holland (ed.), Philosophy, Its History and Historiography. Reidel. pp. 85-86 (1985)
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Hesse and Pettit present somewhat different reconstructions of Rorty’s suggestions about the discipline that might survive the collapse of foundationalistic epistemology. They both treat Rorty’s argument very respectfully, as opening the way to an interesting new possibility. I think that they are both too charitable to him; I think that there are a lot of bad arguments in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, and a quantity of simple silliness. This is not to say that the openings up of the subject that Hesse and Pettit derive from Rorty are not genuinely attractive. What I would challenge is the suggestion that they are forced upon us by the collapse of the rest of the subject. I see no reason to believe this.

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Adam Morton
PhD: Princeton University; Last affiliation: University of British Columbia


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