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Values, Valuations, and Axiological Norms in Richard Rorty's Neopragmatism

Studies, Polemics, Interpretations

Krzysztof Piotr Skowronski

Richard Rorty is perhaps the most famous American philosopher internationally, and his later, neopragmatist philosophy is decidedly one of his most commented upon. Values, Valuations, and Axiological Norms in Richard Rorty's Neopragmatism proposes different themes in order to delve into the enormous potential that Rorty's later philosophical thought possesses, using the perspective of the axiological and normative dimensions. With reference to philosophers such as Kant, Dewey, Santayana, and Kołakowski, Krzysztof Piotr Skowroński argues that a democratic society is the basic axiological framework and that Rorty’s normative focus is the melioration of democratic society. The novelty of this philosophy is that it pays special attention to discourses, narratives, and story-telling as containing within themselves axiological and normative aspects. This book presents these discourses as a way of constructing and reconstructing social reality, rather than as a means of describing reality from a detached perspective. According to this framework, human activity, well-being, and solidarity with other people should be evoked by us much more than any reference to God, the Truth, or absolute Values. This book is written for anyone with interests in American philosophy, intellectual history, or political philosophy. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 148Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-1-4985-0945-9 • Hardback • September 2015 • $75.00 • (£49.95)
978-1-4985-0947-3 • eBook • September 2015 • $71.00 • (£47.95)
Krzysztof Piotr Skowroński is associate professor at the Institute of Philosophy, Opole University.
Chapter 1: Naturalistic Axiology and Normativity in Rorty
Chapter 2: Rortyan and Kantian Contributions to Understanding of the Good Life in Democratic Culture: Discourses, Norms, and Axiological Points of Reference
Chapter 3: Rorty’s Neopragmatist Philosophy as a Kind of Humanism
Chapter 4: Aesthetic Persuasion and Political Compulsion: Literary Philosophy in Light of Rorty’s Ideas of Democratic Liberalism and Cultural Politics
Chapter 5: Socio-Political Values in ‘the Great Films’ and their role in Cultural Politics in Light of Rorty’s Philosophy
Chapter 6: Economic Crisis and Ethnocentric Rhetoric in American Neopragmatism (Rorty)
Values, Valuations, and Axiological Norms is an excellent work. Skowronski’s arguments, analyses, and insights are new and important. These arguments are not only interesting, but persuasive, and Skowronski offers, besides the well-known approaches, new insights for the readers. This is a major contribution to the overall picture of Richard Rorty, especially in the sense that the author shows main features of Rorty’s neopragmatism—his basic values, the principles of contingency and relativity, re-description, the public-private split, liberal utopia, etc.—from Rorty’s liberal democratic angle.
Alexander Kremer, University of Szeged

Skowronski's volume adds its own distinctive voice to the on-going and growing discussion of Rorty's legacy. Reflecting on Rorty's views on various inter-related issues, such as values, normativity, humanism, democracy, liberalism, literature, and cultural politics, Skowronski does not merely seek to interpret Rorty's position but to philosophize—often critically—with him about these topics of vital human importance in a politically relevant manner.
Sami Pihlström, University of Helsinki

In the era of global power of technoscience and political corruption, Skowronski re-reads Rorty in a novel way, focusing on values and norms. He shows how Rortyan pragmatism can serve not only cultural politics but also political humanism. This is a conversation with Rorty rather than an interpretation because the author has his own ideas to present on the Rortyan themes.
Emil Višňovský, Comenius University & Slovak Academy of Sciences

A thoughtful and insightful study of Rorty's philosophy. Skowronski succeeds at presenting a rich critical understanding of this complex thinker.
John Lachs, Vanderbilt University