An accessible overview of the work of one of our most influential living philosophers, as part of the popular Great Philosophers series. Richard Rorty is often cited as the most prominent philosophical defender of postmodernism. Best known for his unusually readable books and articles on philosophy – most notably Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979) and Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989) – Rorty has for some years now been a wide-ranging public intellectual, unwilling to be confined within the boundaries of academe.
There is no real school of Rortianism. But Rorty-bashing is almost an industry in itself. He is a renegade to purists, a reactionary to radicals and a subversive to conservatives. And yet he presents his ideas as the culmination and extension of many of the most familiar and fashionable trends in contemporary thinking.