on 20 January 2005
This title brings together some of Rorty's most accessible and engaging works. At first I was put off Rorty by his earlier "Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature", but his writings here, particularly those on science, present lucid and engaging arguments for an anti-realist account of 'truth'.
Rorty argues that 'truth' should have no epistemological or metaphysical base, rather it should have only an ethical dimension. For Roty 'truth', rather than being a term used to denote correspondence to an objective world, is what you get when you listen to as many arguments and positions as possible.
It always seemed to require a 'peculiar effort of mind' on my part to think of 'truth' as something other than 'correspondence' to an objective facet of the world. But Rorty's arguments for this point are persuasive and forceful.
However, the reader should ask themselves whether Rorty's relativism/pragmatism/ethnocentric position is as openminded and tolerant as he believes it to be. Also we should question whether his idea of 'truth as solidarity' isn't really mob-psychology in new clothing.