Rorty, Richard

Rorty, Richard,

1931–2007, American philosopher. b. New York City. After studying at the Univ. of Chicago (B.A. 1949, M.A. 1952) and Yale (Ph.D. 1956), Rorty taught philosophy at Wellesley College (1958–61) and Princeton (1961–82), humanities at the Univ. of Virginia (1982–98), and literature at Stanford Univ. (1998–2005). Although he edited The Linguistic Turn (1967), which is considered an indispensable introduction to analytic philosophy, Rorty soon experienced doubts about philosophy as a privileged investigation of truth and published his well-known and extremely influential work, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), in which he attacked the traditional idea of philosophy as a form of higher knowledge. He subsequently advocated a form of pragmatism that drew on the insights of Darwin, Hegel, and others as well as those of Dewey and was marked by a rejection of what he saw as the scientism- and metaphysics-tainted concerns of modern epistemology. His later works include Contingency, Irony and Solidarity (1988), Objectivity, Relativism and Truth (1991), Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in 20th-Century America (1998), and Philosophy and Social Hope (1999).


See interviews with Rorty ed. by D. Nystrom and K. Puckett (1998) and E. Mendieta (2006); studies by H. J. Saatkamp, Jr., ed. (1995), R. A. Kuipers (1997), M. Melkonian (1999), R. B. Brandom, ed. (2000), A. Malachowski, ed. (1990 and 4 vol., 2002), and C. Guignon and D. R. Hiley, ed. (2003).

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Rorty, Richard (McKay)

(1931–  ) philosopher; born in New York City. After studying at the University of Chicago and Yale, and teaching at Yale (1954–56), Wellesley (1958–61), and Princeton (1961–82), he became a professor at the University of Virginia. An esteemed analytic philosopher in his youth, he fell briefly into a period of depression and inertia in the early 1970s. Revived by a "conversion" to pragmatism, he made a forceful and controversial attack on traditional and analytic philosophy in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), calling for a new "postphilosophic" dialogue of many voices. Although regarded by some as iconoclastic and by others as a maverick, he is conceded to have reintroduced American philosophy into the marketplace of contemporary concerns.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Rorty, Richard. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1979.
Rorty, Richard (1998), "Introduction" to Truth and Progress: Philosophical Papers, Volume 3.
Rorty, Richard, 2007, Philosophy as Cultural Politics: Philosophical Papers, Cambridge University Press.
Rorty, Richard (1982), "Philosophy in America Today," American Scholar 51(2): 183.
Their enterprise consists in clarifying the purpose of planning and raising the caliber of debates within the profession by drawing from the neo-pragmatist school of philosophy, and most particularly the works of Richard Rorty, Richard Bernstein and Hilary Putnam.
Rorty, Richard, Achieving Our Country, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1998.
Rorty, Richard. "Does Academic Freedom Have Philosophical Presuppositions" The Future of Academic Freedom.