Titel: Pragmatist Transcendence in Rorty’s Metaphilosophy
Autor: Nicholas H. Smith and Tracy Llanera
This article argues that a pragmatist ambition to transcendence undergirds Richard Rorty’s metaphilosophy. That transcendence might play a positive role in Rorty’s work might seem implausible given his well-known rejection of the idea that human practices are accountable to some external, Archimedean standpoint, and his endorsement of the historicist view that standards of rationality are products of time and chance. It is true that Rorty’s contributions to epistemology, philosophy of mind and metaphysics have this anti-transcendentalist character. But in his metaphilosophy, Rorty shows great respect for pre-philosophical impulses aimed at transcendence of some kind, in particular the romantic (and indeed religious) experience of awe at something greater than oneself, and the utopian striving for a radically better world. These impulses do not disappear in Rorty’s metaphilosophy but are reshaped in a pragmatist iteration of transcendence which, we argue, can be characterised as horizontal (rather than vertical) and weak (rather strong). We use this characterization to distinguish Rorty’s metaphilosophy from other accounts that share a postmetaphysical ambition to transcendence.
Rorty and Paradigm Change in Philosophy
2019 (41) Heft 1
Three years after its foundation, in 1981, this journal presented a contribution by Richard Rorty in German translation, which was republished as ‘Philosophy in America Today’ in another journal the same year and included in Rorty’s first article selection Consequences of Pragmatism (1982). A lively debate on the article and Rorty’s Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979) ensued and drew a lengthy ‘Reply to six critics’ from Rorty. These diversified and historically symptomatic re...