Friday, January 23, 2015

Richard Rorty on democracy and philosophy

When Richard Rorty died in 2007 I quoted a tribute by Christopher Hayes in the Nation:
Rorty had an uncanny ability to stare into the post-modern abyss, in which nothing is grounded in the divine or universal, and yet somehow, some way, find a kind of practical empathy that could serve as a beacon in the face of nihilism, authoritarianism and cruelty.
This interview, which he gave in 1997, is a good introduction to the appeal of Rorty's ideas.

1 comment:

Simon said...

That beggining and end of good quality analytical philosophy is to really understand what it is you are talking about. This practice gained a, deservidly, bad reputation when its early proponents used it to try and demonstrate that whilst they knew what they were talking aboout, everyone else was talking nonsense. The best of modern philosophers however develop that sympathetic art of being able to understand what you are saying even better than you do yourself, and then to respond to those views with charity, clarity and whit. Rorty undoubtedly had that nack. Parfit and Nagel are two still living philosophers who come to mind as being able to do the same. They show us just what a rich and interesting place this world we live in really is.