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Rehabilitating Objectivity: Rorty, Brandom, and the New Pragmatism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Steven Levine*
Affiliation:
University of Massachusetts, Boston, Boston, MA02125, USA

Extract

In recent years, a renascent form of pragmatism has developed which argues that a satisfactory pragmatic position must integrate into itself the concepts of truth and objectivity. This New Pragmatism, as Cheryl Misak calls it, is directed primarily against Rorty's neo-pragmatic dismissal of these concepts. For Rorty, the goal of our epistemic practices should not be to achieve an objective view, one that tries to represent things as they are ‘in themselves,’ but rather to attain a view of things that can gain as much inter-subjective agreement as possible. In Rorty's language, we need to replace the aim of objectivity with that of solidarity. While the New Pragmatists agree with Rorty's ‘humanist’ and ‘anti-authoritarian’ notion that the world by itself cannot dictate to us what we should think about it, they demur from his suggestion that this requires us to give up the notions of truth and objectivity.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Authors 2010

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