Richard Rorty is one of the most provocative figures in recent philosophical, literary and cultural debate. This collection brings together those of his writings aimed at a wider audience, many published in book form for the first time. In these eloquent essays, articles and lectures, Rorty gives a stimulating summary of his central philosophical beliefs and how they relate to his political hopes; he also offers some challenging insights into contemporary America, justice, education and love.
Richard Rorty is Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University. He is the author of PHILSOPHY AND THE MIRROR OF NATURE, CONTINGENCY, IRONY AND SOLIDARITY, and ACHIEVING OUR COUNTRY.
Part 1 Autobiographical: Trotsky and the wild orchids. Part 2 Hope in place of knowledge - a version of pragmatism: truth without correspondence to reality; a world without substances or essences; ethics without principles. Part 3 Some applications of pragmatism: the banality of pragmatism and the poetry of justice; pragmatism and law - a response to David Luban; education as socialization and as individualization; the humanistic intellectual - eleven theses; the pragmatist's progress - Umberto Eco on interpretation; religious faith, intellectual responsibility and romance; religion as conversation-stopper; Thomas Kuhn, rocks and the laws of physics; on Hiedegger's Nazism. Part 4 Politics: failed prophecies, glorious hopes; a spectre is haunting the intellectuals - Derrida on Marx; love and money; globalization, the politics and identity and social hope. Part 5 Contemporary America: looking backwards from the year 2096; the unpatriotic academy; back to class politics.