The Center and Circumference of Knowledge: Rorty on Pragmatism and Romanticism

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Abstract

Richard Rorty's discussions of "romanticism," a term by which he means a set of general philosophical themes, not merely a body of literary and philosophical work of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, are not univocal in their approach. Rorty endorses romanticism within an overall antirealistic view that he interprets as "pragmatism." In some respects, Richard Rorty's view of romanticism is diametrically opposed to Shelley's, for although Rorty invokes Shelley's appeal to poetry as "center and circumference," he has no interest in providing any access to a noumenal world. With logical positivism of the twentieth century, Rorty seems to presuppose that "eliminating metaphysics," where metaphysics would be any appeal to a reality beyond appearances, is not only possible, but highly desirable from an intellectual point of view. Given Rorty's ultimate aim, it is not surprising that Rorty's romantic idol will have his metaphysics up his sleeve.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to Rorty
EditorsAlan Malachowski
PublisherWiley Online Library
Chapter12
Pages194-210
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781118972199
ISBN (Print)9781118972168
StatePublished - 2020

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