Richard Rorty: 1931 — 2007


The prince of prag­ma­tism and a lion of Stan­ford, Richard Rorty, died last week in Palo Alto at age 75. Rorty was most famous­ly a philo­soph­i­cal prag­ma­tist, believ­ing that the philoso­pher’s role in life is to answer our press­ing every­day ques­tions, not to get lost in abstract the­o­ries. Accord­ing to his obit­u­ary, in his lat­er years he “fierce­ly crit­i­cized the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, the reli­gious right, Con­gres­sion­al Democ­rats and anti-Amer­i­can intel­lec­tu­als.” And despite the pes­simism caused by any extend­ed con­tem­pla­tion of these groups, he had hope for his coun­try to the end.

You can lis­ten to one of Rorty’s last pub­lic speak­ing engage­ments, the annu­al Dewey lec­ture at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go, here.

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