By Curtis, William McAllister; Rorty, Richard; Rorty, Richard

Liberal democracy wishes a clear-eyed, strong safety to house the more and more advanced demanding situations it faces within the twenty-first century. regrettably a lot of latest liberal concept has rejected this endeavour for worry of showing culturally hegemonic. as an alternative, liberal theorists have sought to intestine liberalism of its moral substance so that it will render it extra tolerant of non-liberal methods of existence. This theoretical attempt is erroneous, in spite of the fact that, simply because winning liberal democracy is an ethically-demanding political regime that calls for its citizenry to exhibit convinced virtues and behavior of brain. opposed to the grain of latest idea, thinker Richard Rorty blends American pragmatism and romanticism to provide a complete imaginative and prescient of liberal modernity that includes a virtue-based notion of liberal democracy. In doing so, Rorty defends his pragmatic liberalism opposed to a bunch of impressive interlocutors, together with Charles Taylor, Nancy Fraser, Hilary Putnam, Richard J. Bernstein, and Jean Bethke Elshtain

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As I argue in Chapter 4, the real difference between Rorty and Taylor is that Taylor, despite his concessions to the historical contingency of politics and culture, remains attracted to an essentialist view of human experience. For Rorty, this means Taylor suffers from a failure of imagination about human possibility, and thereby gives philosophical ammunition to the authoritarian impulse to rule out potential liberal ethical experimentation. This “sin of essentialism” is, of course, precisely what Rorty’s pragmatism aims to eradicate.

3 – William James 1 2 3 Allan Bloom, Giants and Dwarfs: Essays 1960–1990 (New York: Touchstone, 1990), 18. Hilary Putnam, Words and Life, ed. James Conant (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 152. William James, Pragmatism, ed. , 1981), 28. 31 32 Defending Rorty The goal of Rorty’s intellectual project is to articulate and recommend a particular ideal of liberal culture and politics. At the heart of this ideal is the attempt to balance the alleviation of societal cruelty with the cultivation of a romantic ethic of free and creative individuality.

Rob Reich, Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 44. Amy Gutmann, “Civic Education and Social Diversity” Ethics 105 (April 1995), 557–79. 58 This suspicious reaction is, of course, a problem for political liberalism, since its whole raison d’ˆetre is to extend an olive branch and make liberalism more acceptable to citizens, like Wolterstorff, who live by nonliberal comprehensive doctrines. Both modus vivendi liberalism and political liberalism fail on their own terms: in order for their respective political arrangements to be successful and sustainable, they require citizens to develop an extensive set of ethical traits that have a deep impact on our private conceptions of the Good.

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