Title
Philosopher
Location
Princeton, New Jersey
Age
50 at time of award
Deceased
June 8, 2007
Area of Focus
Philosophy
Published December 1, 1981

Richard Rorty was a philosopher who attempted to bring together the tradition of American pragmatism and that of post-Nietzschean French and German philosophy.

Rorty’s books criticized the idea that knowledge consists of an accurate representation of the intrinsic natures of things and argued for the pragmatist view that true beliefs are the beliefs that help us achieve our ends.  He tried to carry on Dewey’s attempt to blend Hegelian historicism with a post-Darwinian naturalism.  He was the author of numerous books, such as Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979), Consequences of Pragmatism (1982), Contingency, Irony and Solidarity (1989), Objectivity, Relativism and Truth (1991), Essays on Heidegger and Others (1991), Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America (1998), Truth and Progress (1998), and Philosophy and Social Hope (2000).  He was the co-author, with Gianni Vattimo, of The Future of Religion (2005).

Rorty was a professor of comparative literature at Stanford University.  He served on the faculties of Yale University, Wellesley College, Princeton University, and the University of Virginia.

Rorty received a B.A. (1949) and an M.A. (1952) from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. (1956) from Yale University. 

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Select News Coverage of Richard Rorty
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Los Angeles Review of Books
Richard Rorty , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
January 10, 2017
"Richard Rorty’s Philosophical Argument for National Pride"
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November 20, 2016
"Richard Rorty’s 1998 Book Suggested Election 2016 Was Coming"
The New York Times
Richard Rorty , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
June 11, 2007
"Richard Rorty, 75; Leading U.S. Pragmatist Philosopher
The Washington Post
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June 11, 2007
"Richard Rorty, Philosopher, Dies at 75"
The New York Times
Richard Rorty , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
November 1, 2003
"Richard Rorty"
Philosophy Now
Richard Rorty , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
June 2, 1991
"The Most Talked-About Philosopher"
The New York Times
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