Saturday, 21 August 2010
Rorty advances two main theses: (1) our beliefs can only have relative validity and (2) intellectual history is the product of random forces.
He asks his readers to give up the idea of "absolute truth." He adopts instead the view that "truth is made, not found."
Truth is a human creation, it is the product of our language. What count as true at a particular time and place is simply a product of how we happen to talk about things, a product of our "vocabularies"
The scientific vocabularies of Newton to Aristotle or the moral vocabularies of Freud to St.Paul; there is no way to determine which fits the world better than the other.
He is arguably the most influential philosopher of our time: a radical American who is against war in Iraq - and against truth, reason and science.
Richard Rorty argues that "TRUTH" is a product of human vocabularies. Language helps us to survive to cope with reality, not grasp truth.
According to Rorty, freedom is placed above Truth as the goal of thinking and social progress. The ideal citizen is a figure Rorty calls the "liberal ironist."
Rorty writes, "An ideal liberal society is one which has no purpose except freedom, no goal except a willingness to see how such encounters (between present and new practices) go and to abide by the outcome. It has no purpose except to make life easier for poets and revolutionaries..."
Rorty controversial positions in debates about the nature of mind, language, knowledge, truth, science, ethics, and politics have been regarded by some as opening fesh new possibilites for thought and by others as undermining the very possibility of meaningful inquiry.