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Additional info for Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 4, Issue 2 December 2007.
That is, if he were to concede that to assert a belief to be true in the face of a challenge to it is to commit oneself to inquiry (whether or not one actually does so), he would still contend that there is no necessary reason that such inquiry be democratic. ” But, MacGilvray asks, need that context be democratic, let alone radically democratic, as Talisse argues? ” Fair enough. Every democratic community is likely to have requirements for citizenship, requirements that are to a greater or lesser degree exclusive.
I had to smile. One of the great things about Rorty’s philosophical writing was that it was so close to and honest about his life, not only in poignant autobiographical essays like “Trotsky and the Wild Orchids,” and in works on politics and culture like Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989), Achieving Our Country (1998), Philosophy and Social Hope (1999), and Philosophy as Cultural Politics (2007), but also in late-life dialogues with other international philosophers, including The Future of Religion (2005) with the Italian hermeneuticist philosopher, Gianni Vattimo, and What’s the Use of Truth (2007), with the French analytic philosopher, Pascal Engel.
Rorty, of course, has not been alone in pressing this point. 1 These critics’ shared doubts about the “purity” and “emptiness” of contemporary moral theory express a thought quite familiar to Rorty’s pragmatism, namely that philosophers ought to address those problems of ordinary life which arise in the cultural milieu in which we finds ourselves. The poverty of much of contemporary moral philosophy, the thought goes, can profitably be redressed by taking more seriously the kind of moral criticism which Rorty and a handful of others provide useful examples of.