Richard Rorty is famous, maybe even infamous, for his
philosophical nonchalance. His groundbreaking work not only rejects
all theories of truth but also dismisses modern epistemology and
its preoccupation with knowledge and representation. At the same
time, the celebrated pragmatist believed there could be no
universally valid answers to moral questions, which led him to a
complex view of religion rarely expressed in his writings.
In this posthumous publication, Rorty, a strict secularist,
finds in the pragmatic thought of John Dewey, John Stuart Mill,
William James, and George Santayana, among others, a political
imagination shared by religious traditions. His intent is not to
promote belief over nonbelief or to blur the distinction between
religious and public domains. Rorty seeks only to locate patterns
of similarity and difference so an ethics of decency and a politics
of solidarity can rise. He particularly responds to Pope Benedict
XVI and his campaign against the relativist vision. Whether holding
theologians, metaphysicians, or political ideologues to account,
Rorty remains steadfast in his opposition to absolute uniformity
and its exploitation of political strength.
Subjects: Religion, Philosophy
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