Rorty, Richard (McKay)

born Oct. 4, 1931, New York, N.Y., U.S.

U.S. philosopher.

After receiving his Ph.D. at Yale University in 1956, he taught at Wellesley College, Princeton University, the University of Virginia, and Stanford University. An opponent of epistemological foundationalism, Rorty holds that no statement is epistemologically more basic than any other and no statement is ever justified finally or absolutely. He also rejects the idea that sentences or beliefs are true or false in any interesting sense other than being useful or successful within a broad social practice (see pragmatism). Because there is no such thing as certainty or absolute truth, according to Rorty, it is not the purpose of philosophy to pursue such things; its role instead should be to conduct a "conversation" between contrasting but equally valid forms of intellectual inquiry. His publications include Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), Consequences of Pragmatism (1982), and Contingency, Irony and Solidarity (1989).

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Universalium. 2010.

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