Humanities 2012, 1(3), 229-245; doi:10.3390/h1030229
Article

On the Apparent Differences between Contemporary Pragmatists: Richard Rorty and the New Pragmatism

Received: 16 October 2012; in revised form: 3 December 2012 / Accepted: 5 December 2012 / Published: 17 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Legacy of Richard Rorty)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Throughout its history pragmatism has been criticised for failing to account for the roles truth and objectivity play in our lives and inquiries. Pragmatists have long sought to guard against this objection, but recently some proponents have identified a form of pragmatism which they think is deficient in the manner identified by its critics. This has led them to claim that pragmatism should be understood as falling into two distinct varieties, and to argue for the superiority of the one over the other. In this paper I argue that behind the apparent differences between contemporary pragmatists lies greater agreement than is commonly thought. Taking Richard Rorty to represent what some find unattractive in their philosophy, I claim that there is little if any substantive difference between pragmatists about the concepts of truth and objectivity. Further, Rorty’s work shows that it is misleading to distinguish pragmatists in terms of whether they highlight the constraints imposed by social practices or whether they seek to free us from such constraint; properly understood, freedom and constraint are a necessary condition of one another.
Keywords: pragmatism; objectivity; truth; freedom; constraint; Richard Rorty
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bacon, M. On the Apparent Differences between Contemporary Pragmatists: Richard Rorty and the New Pragmatism. Humanities 2012, 1, 229-245.

AMA Style

Bacon M. On the Apparent Differences between Contemporary Pragmatists: Richard Rorty and the New Pragmatism. Humanities. 2012; 1(3):229-245.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bacon, Michael. 2012. "On the Apparent Differences between Contemporary Pragmatists: Richard Rorty and the New Pragmatism." Humanities 1, no. 3: 229-245.

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