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Rorty, Richard (b. 1931), American pragmatist and self-described bourgeois, liberal ironist, established himself as philosophy's “anti-philosopher” in his 1979 book Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. In this work, Rorty critiques the epistemological and metaphysical foundations of modern philosophy and, in particular, rejects the belief of knowledge as representation. According to Rorty, we should be critical of epistemology because it is the equivalent of foundationalism and suspicious of metaphysics because it amounts to essentialism. There is no universal truth for Rorty, and we should be weary of any discipline, especially philosophy, that attempts to provide a theory of knowledge to ground science, art, politics, or morality. Thus, Rorty's pragmatism is informed by an antirepresentationalism, antifoundationalism, and anti-essentialism, which is captured in all his work from ...

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