New Philosophy

Jürgen Habermas

How did Richard Rorty illustrate relativism to his audience?

Rorty (1931–2007) practiced a highly sophisticated relativism that allowed him to present a position that his audience would agree with, and at the same time show how that position could be plausibly contested by those who held a very different position that was unacceptable to him and his audience. Concerning fundamentalist religious beliefs, for example, he taught views opposed to them with apparent strong commitment, and at the same time tried to show how his perspective was deeply offensive and even counter-productive in changing the minds of those who held those beliefs.


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