MD Rorty

From: Steve Peterson (
Date: Wed Aug 13 2003 - 17:21:31 BST

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    Hi Matt, Platt,

    I've started reading "Philosophy and Social Hope" due in large part to your
    championing of Rorty.

    Could you comment on the relationship of pragmatism and Darwinism.

    Rorty (p xxii) said that pragmatists "..start with a Darwinian account of
    human beings as animals doing their best to cope with the environment...
    Words are among the tools that these clever animals have developed."

    He also used the phrase "to become fully Darwinian in our thinking" as if it
    was a good thing to do. What does he mean?

    Does he see Darwinism as an intellectual postulate that helps us cope with
    our environment? If so, I'll take the MOQ over Darwinism any day. How
    about you?

    Based on what I've read so far, there is much evidence that Rorty is not the
    Communist that Platt seems to think he is and is rather a liberal Democrat.

    Rorty said on page 4, "I think that our country -- despite its past and
    present atrocities and vices, and despite its continuing eagerness to elect
    fools and knaves to high office -- is a good example of the best kind of
    society so far invented." I agree.

    Platt, does this describe your hostility toward Rorty? "The right's
    hostility [toward Rorty/pragmatism] is largely explained by the fact that
    rightest thinkers don't think it is enough just to prefer democratic
    societies. One has to believe that they are Objectively Good, that the
    institutions of such societies are grounded in Rational First Principles."


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