Believing that humanity would be better off if it simply dropped its traditional religious and metaphysical beliefs, Richard Rorty proposes an alternative approach, drawn from the American pragmatist tradition, where things get their significance against a background of broad human interests, and knowledge is regarded as part of the active pursuit of a better world. Rorty, Religion, and Metaphysics argues that while Rorty's case is clearly and robustly made, it is fundamentally challenged by the phenomenon of human recognition, the relationship that arises between people when they talk to one another. John Owens demonstrates that recognition, so central to human life, cannot be accommodated within Rorty's proposals, given that it precisely attributes a reality to others that goes beyond anything a pragmatist framework can offer. It follows that there is more to human interaction than can be explained by Rorty's pragmatism.
Höhe: 229 mm
Breite: 152 mm
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John Owens is lecturer in philosophy at Good Shepherd College, Auckland, New Zealand.
Part I: Philosophy
Chapter One: The Attack on Realism
Chapter Two: The Attack on Aristotelianism
Chapter Three: Pragmatism
Part II: Religion
Chapter Four: Pragmatist Religious Belief
Chapter Five: Pragmatism and the Theologians
Part III: Ethics
Chapter Six: Pragmatist Social Ethics
Chapter Seven: The Question of Recognition
One might think there is little to add to our understanding of Richard Rorty's sharply critical attitude to both metaphysics and religion. John Owens compellingly shows in Rorty, Religion, and Metaphysics that this is not the case. Engaging with Rorty's core works as well as some less well-known writings, he examines the key Rortyan view that metaphysics remains committed to the religious idea of human answerability to something non-human but moves far beyond the standard opposition between metaphysics and pragmatism. This rich and original book considers, among other things, what kind of religious attitudes might be possible within a pragmatist framework and plausibly argues that Rortyan pragmatism needs to deal with the concept of recognition. -- Sami Pihlstroem, University of Helsinki In Rorty, Religion, and Metaphysics, John Owens offers a superb engagement with Richard Rorty's thought that patiently considers the challenges that Rorty offers to religion, ethics, and metaphysics. Far from drawing any easy conclusions, Owens invites readers to interrogate their own assumptions. This book is rigorous, exceptionally well written, and genuinely a pleasure to read. For those interested in not only figuring out what Rorty claims, but what should be claimed about religion after Rorty, this book sets a new standard. -- J. Aaron Simmons, Furman University