Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature In Philosophy and the Mirror of NatureRorty argues that the central problems of modern epistemology depend upon a picture of the mind as trying to faithfully represent or "mirror" a mind-independent, external reality. If we give up this metaphor, then the entire enterprise of foundationalist epistemology is misguided. A foundationalist believes that in order to avoid the regress inherent in claiming that all beliefs are justified by other beliefs, some beliefs must be self-justifying and form the foundations to all knowledge.
This amicable bulwark of the Old Left and purveyor of pragmatist philosophy had, so we were told, predicted the election of Donald Trump from beyond the grave.
It is worth citing the passage in full: Around the same time, tey will realize that suburban white-collar workers — themselves desperately afraid of being downsized — are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else.
At that point, something will crack. The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for — someone willing to assure them tat, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots […].
One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out.
Hocular contempt for women will come back into fashion […].
All the resentment which badly educated American feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.
So high was demand for the book that it prompted Harvard University Press to reprint the book for the first time in nearly a decade. All this media attention also led to vigorous discussion in debate among laypersons: In other words, the Left reproduced just the kind of puritanical infighting that Rorty claims has been dividing it since the s, declining any kind of engagement with the Liberatarians, cultural conservatives, and alt-right neo-Nazis whose political adversaries they are, I am told, supposed to be.
If anyone did, it is Luttwak — and even then, this would be a dubious claim, for the diagnosis was apparently a common one.
Here it is worth citing another passage that immediately precedes the first: Many writers on socioeconomic policy have warned that the old industrialized democracies are headed into a Weimar-like period, one in which populist movements are likely to overturn constitutional governments.
Edward Luttwak, for example, has suggested that fascism may be the American future. I have no answer to this, but it strikes me as a much more fruitful line of inquiry than the in-party quibbling that has occupied the Left of late.
Trumpian hubbub aside, Achieving Our Country is perfectly fine for what it is. Rorty is the philosopher par excellence of the story, of the narrative.
His fear is that the Left in its identitarian variant has abandoned all symbols of greatness — in other words, all national pride — turning its back on electoral politics, and choosing instead to languish in a fruitless political spectatorialism: In his first lecture, Rorty tries to counter this trend by providing the Left with a new, more useful narrative that could show it the way out of its spectatorial impasse.
According to the story he weaves, American Leftism has its roots in the writings of Dewey and Whitman. Their ideal of America was therefore thoroughly democratic: With these symbols of greatness in hand, Rorty hopes to give the contemporary Left the tools it needs to inscribe itself within a larger narrative through which to understand itself and in which to take pride.
Of course, this history is not without its blemishes. But from the perspective of a thoroughly secularized national self-understanding cleansed of any concept of sin, mortification and self-flagellation are to be replaced with the sober consciousness that one cannot alter the past and the resolute hope to do better in the future p.
His goal, here as elsewhere, is narrative in nature. He aims to undercut the thoroughly unhelpful Marxist distinction between leftism and reformism, thereby giving both a common narrative and — one hopes — countering the pervasive trend toward sectarianism: Rorty gives an account of the splintering of the American left during the s over the Vietnam War and the rise of the so-called New Left.National pride is to countries what self-respect is to individuals: a necessary condition for self-improvement.
-Richard Rorty, Achieving Our Country. In a series of essays originally presented as the William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization, Richard Rorty undertakes the much needed task of rescuing the American Left from the anti-Americanism and theoretical Author: Richard Rorty.
Richard Rorty was born on October 4, , in New York City. His parents, James and Winifred Rorty, were activists, writers and social democrats.
His maternal grandfather, Walter Rauschenbusch, was a central figure in the Social Gospel movement of the early 20th century. . Richard Rorty (—) Richard Rorty was an important American philosopher of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century who blended expertise in philosophy and comparative literature into a perspective called "The New Pragmatism" or “neopragmatism.”.
Nov 21, · By , when Mr. Rorty gave three lectures that make up the spine of “Achieving Our Country,” few of his academic colleagues, he insisted, were talking about reducing poverty at all. Achieving Our Country Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America.
Richard Rorty. “ In his philosophically rigorous new book, Achieving Our Country, Richard Rorty raises a provocative if familiar The fact that Rorty’s old-style American leftism is closer to British New Labour than to good old socialism may prove not that he is.
This article is a close reading of the late philosopher Richard Rorty's critique of the s and of several prominent New Left intellectuals in his book Achieving Our Country. Rorty argues that the depth of animus generated by these American critiques of US foreign policy and society as well as by.