*Pragmatism as Anti-Authoritarianism*

That is the new Richard Rorty book, released ten years after his death.  Parts feel unfinished or underdeveloped, but mostly it is splendid.  Imagine Rorty defending the Enlightenment (but not the Enlightenment epistemology of representation), and then tracing how that might lead to a defense of democracy and liberalism.  Some of the themes overlap with my own Stubborn Attachments, and here is one short excerpt:

Plato’s mistake, on Dewey’s view, was having identified the ultimate object of eros with something unique, atemporal, and non-human rather than with an indefinitely expansible pantheon of transitory temporal accomplishments, both natural and cultural.

Rorty makes a much better case for Dewey being an important philosopher of liberalism than I have seen anywhere else.  Imperfect as a work, but to my eye this is by far Rorty’s best stab at political philosophy.

You can buy the book here.


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