Solidarity or Objectivity-Rorty’s Neo-Pragmatic View of Science and Its Ethical Implication

Li MA, Xiaonan HONG


As a prominent representative and aggregator of Neo-Pragmatists, Richard Rorty carries on Pragmatists’ rejection of the pursuit of certainty, objectivity, rationality and truth by traditional western philosophers since Plato. This paper traces Rorty’s Neo-Pragmatic view of science to his anti-essentialism and anti-foundationalism. Then, it points out that Rorty constructs his philosophical view of science as a single type of culture by denying the equivalence between science and truth. Rorty’s view of natural science has its ethical implication in that he sees both scientific and moral progress not as a matter of getting closer to the True or the Objective or the Good or the Right, but as an increase in people’s sympathy, sensitivity, and imaginative power, which enhances human sense of happiness, a chief concern of pragmatic philosophers. In the concluding part, the authors argue that through reducing objectivity to solidarity, Rorty takes both science and ethics as the source of suggestions about what to do with our lives. He initiates a new pragmatic perspective of ethics, sketching a moral blueprint of future human society


Rorty; Neo-Pragmatism; Science; Ethics

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