Geras and Postmodernism 2: Richard Rorty

  • Mark Cowling
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter generally commends Geras’s critique of Richard Rorty’s Contingency, Irony and Solidarity. He concurs with Geras’s claim against Rorty that there is such a thing as human nature, and that Rorty implicitly uses assumptions about human nature in various ways. Cowling admires Geras’s extensive secondary reading on the Holocaust, which allows him to refute Rorty’s speculation that people helped Jews because of prior connections. Cowling argues that both Geras and Rorty engage in speculation about torture. Cowling argues that Rorty also speculates about the inability of the oppressed to present their point of view, and that Geras could have used the work of Paolo Freire to criticize him. Most importantly, Cowling argues that Geras’s critique of Rorty’s pragmatism could have been strengthened by a discussion of Rorty’s book Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, together with criticisms made of it by philosophers of mind.

References

  1. Boghossian, P. (2007). Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Cowling, C. (2013). Conceiving Freedom: Women of Color, Gender, and the Abolition of Slavery in Havana and Rio de Janeiro. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Doyle, L., & Gough, I. (1991). A Theory of Human Need. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eagleton, T. (1996). The Illusions of Postmodernism. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  5. Freire, P. (1996). The Pedagogy of the Oppressed (2nd ed.). Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  6. Geras, N. (1995). Solidarity in the Conversation of Humankind: The Ungroundable of Liberalism of Richard Rorty. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  7. Kim, J. (2010). The Philosophy of Mind (3rd ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  8. Kuhn, T. (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Moore, G. E. (1903). Principia Ethica. Retrieved from http://fair-use.org/g-e-moore/principia-ethica/.
  10. Popper, K. (2002). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Rorty, R. (1980). Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  12. Rorty, R. (1989). Contingency, Irony and Solidarity. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Rorty, R. (1994). Human Rights, Rationality and Sentimentality. In S. Shute & S. Hurley (Eds.), On Human Rights: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 1993 (pp. 111–134). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  14. Rorty, R. (1999). Philosophy and Social Hope. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  15. Sartre, J. P. (2003). Being and Nothingness (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Stevenson, C. L. (1944). Ethics and Language. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Tartaglia, J. (2007). Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Rorty and the Mirror of Nature. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Cowling
    • 1
  1. 1.Teesside University [retired]MiddlesboroughUK

Personalised recommendations