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   Course Title    Richard Rorty's Neopragmatism
Lecturer    Anjela Samsonova
Institution    Institute of Philosophy and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences
Country    Russia


The aim of the course is to introduce the main ideas of R. Rorty developed in different periods of his work, in particular, in their connection with the contemporary historical-philosophical process. The course gives an account of some problems in contemporary philosophy and Rorty’s approaches to these problems.


The special course "Richard Rorty's Neopragmatism" is expected to be the part of the general course in Modern Western philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy, Novosibirsk State University. The total number of hours is 12. The course is to start in the 2nd semester of academic year 2001/2002. To this time students are to be acquainted with the main ideas and the key figures of American Pragmatism, Philosophy of Language (Linguistic Philosophy), Existentialism, Continental Philosophy etc. This knowledge is considered to be the minimum basis for the given course. The brief description of the course given below contains only the basic, key points of lectures and discussions. The course is to be extended and described in more detail to the beginning of academic year 2001/2002.


    1. Lectures;

    2. Seminars. Discussions of R. Rorty’s ideas presented in his main works.

    3. Oral examination. At the end of the course students are to sit for the oral exam. Each student is to make a brief presentation of a topic from a list prepared by the lecturer.



  1. R. Rorty on the nature of "the Linguistic Turn" in philosophy (his evaluation of importance of linguistic method in philosophy in different periods). Philosophy in "analytic" and "continental" tradition.

  2. "End of epistemologically-centered philosophy" as "end of representationalism": antirepresentationalist approach to knowledge. The main oppositions: realism / idealism (question of mind and matter), realism / antirealism (question of matter and language), representationalism / antirepresentationalism. "Mirror" metaphor in philosophical tradition. The problem of truth: question of relativism, "finding and making".

  3. The problem of man: "man without essence", man as "net of beliefs and desires", the role of "sentential attitudes", "biologistic"/"Darwinian" approach to nature of human language and thought vs. Kantian/Plato's approach. Moral philosophy and idea of moral progress.

  4. Role of philosophy and activity of philosopher in modern culture from R. Rorty's point of view ( philosophy as fiction and as scientific activity, turn of philosophy "from theory to narrative", philosopher as original thinker and philosopher as commentator). Elimination of distinction between natural science and the rest of culture.


  1. "Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature" (1979)
  2. "Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity" (1991)



  1. Rorty R. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity
  2. Rorty R. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
  3. Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Philosophical Papers. Volume I. Cambridge University Press, 1991-1992.


Richard Rorty’s works which are not availible at present:

  1. Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth. Philosophical Papers. Volume II. Cambridge University Press, 1991-1992.
  2. Essays on Heidegger and Others. Volume I, II. Cambridge University Press, 1991-1992.
  3. The Linguistic Turn: Recent Essays in Metaphilosophy. 1967
  4. Consequences of Pragmatism. 1982.

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