Richard Rorty, the prominent American pragmatist philosopher, has died. I read a fair amount of Rorty’s philosophy during the 1980s and found the time very well spent. Rorty also wrote about political issues from a decidedly liberal perpective. I found this work less worthwhile.
I haven’t re-read Rorty’s philosophy since completing my transition to conservatism, but I doubt I’d think much less of it now. One can respect pragmatism as a philosophy (indeed, one can embrace it) and still be a conservative — think of Richard Posner. In fact, the 1980s make a pretty good pragmatic case for conservatism.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell