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The curious enlightenment of Professor Rorty

Garrard, Graeme Andrew ORCID: 2000. The curious enlightenment of Professor Rorty. Critical Review 14 (4) , pp. 421-439. 10.1080/08913810008443567

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Richard Rorty has devised a highly distinctive strategy for resisting what Michel Foucault once denounced as “the blackmail of the Enlightenment,” according to which one is forced to take a stand either for or against it. Rorty distinguishes between the liberal political values of the Enlightenment, which he embraces “unflinchingly,” and its universal philosophical claims about truth, reason and nature, which he completely renounces. Rorty argues that Enlightenment values are not sustained by “Enlightenment” metaphysics, and can therefore survive the loss of faith in those metaphysics. But Rorty implausibly believes that the scope and limits of his ironism can be restricted to realist metaphysics; he fails to qualify his views on the relationship of theory to practice in several decisive ways; and his “ethnocentric” defense of Enlightenment anti‐ethnocentrism is plagued by paradoxes and other problems.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0891-3811
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 10:29

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