Inspirational Richard Rorty Quotes

Richard Rorty (October 4, 1931 – June 8, 2007) was an American philosopher. This post features some Inspirational Richard Rorty Quotes.

He subsequently came to reject the tradition of philosophy according to which knowledge involves correct representation (a “mirror of nature”) of a world whose existence remains wholly independent of that representation.

Rorty had a long and diverse academic career, including positions as Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University, Kenan Professor of Humanities at the University of Virginia, and Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University. Among his most influential books are Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), Consequences of Pragmatism (1982), and Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989).

Rorty saw the idea of knowledge as a “mirror of nature” as pervasive throughout the history of western philosophy. Against this approach, Rorty advocated for a novel form of American pragmatism, sometimes called neopragmatism, in which scientific and philosophical methods form merely a set of contingent “vocabularies” which people abandon or adopt over time according to social conventions and usefulness.

Richard Rorty Quotes
Richard Rorty Quotes

Richard Rorty Quotes

“There is nothing deep down inside us except what we have put there ourselves.”
― Richard Rorty

“Always strive to excel, but only on weekends.”
― Richard Rorty

“Truth is what your contemporaries let you get away with.”
― Richard Rorty

“Freedom is the recognition of contingency.”
― Richard Rorty

“There is nothing sacred about universality which makes the shared automatically better than the unshared.”
― Richard Rorty

“My sense of the holy is bound up with the hope that some day my remote descendants will live in a global civilization in which love is pretty much the only law.”
― Richard Rorty

“The world does not speak. Only we do. The world can, once we have programmed ourselves with a language, cause us to hold beliefs. But it cannot propose a language for us to speak. Only other human beings can do that. ”
― Richard Rorty

“The orthodox tend to think that people who, like the postmodernists and me, believe neither in God nor in some suitable substitute, must feel that everything is permitted, that everybody can do what they like.”
― Richard Rorty

“Solidarity is not discovered by reflection but created.”
― Richard Rorty

“What makes us moral beings is that…there are some acts we believe we ought to die rather than commit…But now suppose that one has in fact done one of the things one could not have imagined doing, and finds that one is still alive. At that point, one’s choices are suicide, a life of bottomless self-disgust, and an attempt to live so as never to do such a thing again. Dewey recommends the third choice.”
Richard Rorty

“I now wish that I had spent somewhat more of my life with verse. This is not because I fear having missed out on truths that are incapable of statement in prose. There are no such truths; there is nothing about death that Swinburne and Landor knew but Epicurus and Heidegger failed to grasp. Rather, it is because I would have lived more fully if I had been able to rattle off more old chestnuts — just as I would have if I had made more close friends.”
― Richard Rorty

“My principal motive is the belief that we can still make admirable sense of our lives even if we cease to have … “an ambition of transcendence.”
Richard Rorty quotes

“Philosophers get attention only when they appear to be doing something sinister–corrupting the youth, undermining the foundations of civilization, sneering at all we hold dear. The rest of the time everybody assumes that they are hard at work somewhere down in the sub-basement, keeping those foundations in good repair. Nobody much cares what brand of intellectual duct tape is being used.”
― Richard Rorty

“The reason for thinking that there will be no ‘last’ philosophy is simply that no answer can fail to be an answer to a question, and no question can guarantee its own permanent relevance.”
― Richard Rorty

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