Revisiting Richard Rorty

Pedro Góis Moreira (Ed.)

by Bernhard Josef Sylla (University of Minho, Centre for Ethics, Politics and Society (CEPS), Portugal), Robert Brandom (University of Pittsburgh), William Max Knorpp (James Madison University), Agnė Alijauskaitė (Vilnius University, Lithuania), Aldir Carvalho Filho (Universidade Federal do Maranhão, Brasil; Colégio Pedro II/Rio de Janeiro, Brasil), Juan Ignacio Cardona Giraldo (Universidad de La Salle, Bogotá, Colombia), Hernán Medina-Botero (Universidad El Bosque, Bogotá, Colombia), Pietro Salis (University of Cagliari), David Haack (The New School, NY), Susana de Castro (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), J. A. Colen (University of Minho, Centre for Ethics, Politics and Society (CEPS), Portugal); ICS, Universidad de Navarra, Spain), Anthony Vecchio (The University of Texas at Arlington), Rebeca Pérez León (National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico), Angel Rivera-Novoa (Universidad de San Buenaventura, Bogotá, Colombia), Pilar Salvá Soria (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), Rodolfo Gutiérrez Simón (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), Ronald A. Kuipers (Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto)

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Revisiting Richard Rorty is the finest multilingual volume of work on Rorty to date. Anchored by a new essay and interview from Robert Brandom, the diverse contributions include timely reflections on Rorty’s prophetic remarks on U.S. politics in Achieving Our Country, as well as broader examinations of his antirepresentationalism, historicism, and naturalism in relation to democratic politics, truth, metaphysics, and religious belief. The essays rethink Rorty’s relation to Hume, Heidegger, and Ortega y Gasset, as well as pragmatist interlocutors, like Habermas, Putnam, Brandom, and Davidson. The scope and diversity of its themes are a testament to the international reach of Rorty’s influence.

Chris Voparil
Union Institute & University

Richard Rorty is considered one of the most original philosophers of the last decades, and he has generated warm enthusiasm on the part of many intellectuals and students, within and outside the field of philosophy.

The collection opens with an essay by Robert Brandom, in which he continues the discussion of Rorty’s “vocabulary vocabulary” that he began in Rorty and his Critics, and ends with an interview in which Brandom talks about Rorty himself as a teacher and friend. The collection is then divided into three further sections, each addressing an aspect of Rorty’s thought. First, a political section contains several essays discussing Rorty’s notorious “prophecy” in Achieving our Country and the idea that he would have foreseen the rise of a political “strongman.” Also discussed are Rorty's view of the cultural left, his view of the relation between truth and democracy, and Rorty on the concept of fraternity. In a second, epistemological section, several essays address Rorty’s historicism, anti-representationalism, and his views on truth and on religion, often through the lenses of his critics (Putnam, Habermas, Dews). A final section addresses the relations between Rorty and other philosophers such as Hume, Heidegger, and Ortega y Gasset.

This works contains valuable essays in three languages — English, Portuguese, and Spanish — and is a small example of the reach of Rorty’s thought and its expansion beyond the Anglo-Saxon world in only ten years after his death. It will appeal to Rorty’s scholars and researchers as well as any student of pragmatism and anti-foundationalist thought.


Chapter 1 Rorty on vocabularies
Bob Brandom, University of Pittsburgh

Chapter 2 Successful prophecies, failed hopes? Richard Rorty and the demise of social justice
Ronald A. Kuipers, Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto

Chapter 3 Richard Rorty’s “strongman” prediction and the cultural left. Does Achieving Our Country correctly predict Donald Trump and the role of the cultural left in his election?
William Max Knorpp, James Madison University

Chapter 4 Achieving our cultural left? Rorty’s argument
Agnė Alijauskaitė, Vilnius University, Lithuania

Chapter 5 A fraternidade, depois dos anos sombrios. A redescrição rortyana de uma consigna esquecida
Aldir Carvalho Filho*, Universidade Federal do Maranhão;
Colégio Pedro II/Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Chapter 6 Educación para la democracia: una arista del debate Rorty – Habermas
Juan Ignacio Cardona Giraldo*,
Universidad de La Salle, Bogotá

Chapter 7 Democratic politics without truth. On the irrelevance of philosophical theses*
Hernán Medina-Botero, Universidad El Bosque, Bogotá

Chapter 8 Varieties of anti-representationalism
Pietro Salis, University of Cagliari

Chapter 9 Será que é dispensável falar da verdade de algo?
Bernhard Josef Sylla, University of Minho, Centre for Ethics, Politics and Society (CEPS), Portugal

Chapter 10 Realism and relativism. The Rorty, Putnam debate
David Haack, The New School, NY

Chapter 11 Mind, Self and the Need of a Metavocabulary
J. A. Colen, CEPS da Universidade do Minho, ICS da Universidad de Navarra;
Anthony Vecchio, The University of Texas at Arlington

Chapter 12 Historicism without transcendence
Rebeca Pérez León, Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Chapter 13 Rorty’s demands on religious belief: in search of a pragmatic rationality
Ángel Rivera-Novoa,
Universidad de San Buenaventura, Bogotá

Chapter 14 Inversión de la línea platónica: Heidegger desde Rorty
Pilar Salvá Soria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Chapter 15 Ortega y Gasset, ¿precursor de Richard Rorty?
Rodolfo Gutiérrez Simón,
Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Chapter 16 Rorty leitor de Hume
Susana de Castro, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro

Remembering Richard Rorty: An Interview with Robert Brandom
Pedro Góis Moreira, Catholic University of Portugal


Pedro Góis Moreira is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Political Studies of the Catholic University of Portugal. He organized, together with Patrícia Fernandes, the conference Revisiting Richard Rorty at the Universidade do Minho (Braga) with Robert Brandom as keynote speaker. Pedro is interested in the relationship between philosophy and politics, especially political moderation and radicalism, and a key aspect of his dissertation explores the relationship between postmodernism and politics through the thought of Ernesto Laclau. He is currently working on The thought of Raymond Aron and he has published "Ernesto Laclau: Pluralism and Radicalism" (ATINER, 2020), which reflect his ongoing interest in moderation and the place of postmodernism in politics.

Richard Rorty, Epistemology, Pragmatism, Political Philosophy, Postmodernism