So Long, American Pragmatist
Richard Rorty, a professor emeritus of comparative literature at Stanford and public intellectual who is perhaps best known for revitalizing the philosophical school of American pragmatism, died Friday, June 8, at his home on the university campus. He was 75.
Rorty was the philosopher who enabled me to complete my degree in philosophy. Like many contemporary students of the subject I found his work approachable and humane. He was a philosopher who articulated the subject for me and captured my interest and imagination. I immersed myself in his ideas for a very long time, and reading his work provided me with access to a subject that I had previously found oblique and unhelpful. I’m now comfortable with reading philosophy for pleasure and self-edification, and I have this American pragmatist to thank for that. (I can’t say that I actually adhere to the same pragmatist ideals as him, but that’s beside the point.)
I’ve been wanting to blog about philosophy for a long time now, but haven’t made the effort. I shall do so soon. And I shall start off by writing about Richard Rorty.