Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Did Richard Rorty Give Up on Philosophy After All?




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Many professional philosophers think that Rorty ceased to practice philosophy proper after the publication of *Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature*. On the other hand, I contend that Rorty continued to practice philosophy until the end of his life, but in a non-traditional manner. He continued to practice philosophy by means of a conversational argumentative style and a method of creatively reading philosophical texts in a non-malicious manner. Yet many of Rorty's critics are correct in their criticism of Rorty's philosophy in that it is an inadequate philosophy using his own criteria for determining the adequacy of philosophical positions. I admit that Rorty's philosophy is inadequate due to its impotent poeticism. Yet I will contend that Rorty's approach to philosophy is still a viable one once we remove its impotent poeticism. I suggest that Cornel West's genealogical pragmatism is one way of removing that impotent poeticism.

Conference Name

38th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy

Conference Location

Spokane, Washington

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