Always strive to excel, but only on weekends.— Richard Rorty
The most colorful Richard Rorty quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain
The usual picture of Socrates is of an ugly little plebeian who inspired a handsome young nobleman to write long dialogues on large topics.
There is nothing deep down inside us except what we have put there ourselves.
To say that truth is not out there is simply to say that where there are no sentences there is no truth, that sentences are elements of human languages, and that languages are human creations.~ The suggestion that truth~ is out there is a legacy of an age in which the world was seen as the creation of a being who had a language his own.
"True" resembles... a compliment paid to sentences that seem to be paying their way and that fit in with other sentences which are doing so.
A talent for speaking differently, rather than for arguing well is the chief instrument of cultural change.
What counts as rational argumentation is as historically determined and as context-dependent, as what counts as good French.
You read the pragmatists and all you know is: not Descartes, not Kant, not Plato. It's like aspirin. You can't use aspirin to give yourself power, you take it to get rid of headaches. In that way, pragmatism is a philosophical therapy. It helps you stop asking the unhelpful questions.
At 12, I knew that the point of being human was to spend one's life fighting social injustice.
All human relations untouched by love take place in the dark
National pride is to countries what self-respect is to individuals: a necessary condition for self-improvement.
My principal motive is the belief that we can still make admirable sense of our lives even if we cease to have... an ambition of transcendence.
What sort of world can we prepare for our great grandchildren?
Had there been no Plato, the Christians would have had a harder time selling the idea that all God really wanted from us was fraternal love.
Freedom is the recognition of contingency.
The difference between people and ideas is... only superficial.
We are equal inhabitants of a paradise of individuals in which everybody has the right to be understood.
Open-mindedness should not be fostered because, as Scripture teaches, Truth is great and will prevail, nor because, as Milton suggests, Truth will always win in a free and open encounter. It should be fostered for its own sake.
I think of an intellectual as just being bookish, being interested in history books, utopian ideas, that kind of thing.
I illustrate with a quotation from the atheist philosopher Richard Rorty, who died recently and is, I suspect, now having a lengthy conversation with his maker. Rorty argued that secular professors ought “to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own.
The world does not speak. Only we do. The world can, once we have programmed ourselves with a language, cause us to hold beliefs. But it cannot propose a language for us to speak. Only other human beings can do that.
Philosophy makes progress not by becoming more rigorous but by becoming more imaginative.
Philosophers get attention only when they appear to be doing something sinister - corrupting the youth, undermining the foundations of civilization, sneering at all we hold dear. The rest of the time everybody assumes that they are hard at work somewhere down in the sub-basement, keeping those foundations in good repair. Nobody much cares what brand of intellectual duct tape is being used.
To abjure the notion of the truly human is to abjure the attempt to divinize the self as a replacement for a divinized world.
Truth is what your contemporaries let you get away with.
There are credentials for admission to our democratic society [.
..]. You have to be educated in order to be a participant in our conversation So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable. We are not so inclusivist as to tolerate intolerance such as yours.
Truth is a property of sentences, since sentences are dependent for their existence upon vocabularies, and since vocabularies are made by human beings, so are truths.
The most important advance that the West has yet made is to develop a secularist moral tradition
Well, what there ought to be is an international labor organization, a confederation of the trade unions of all the countries speaking for the workers who are competing with one another, and talking about the difference in wage levels between, say, Europe and Indonesia.
If the body had been easier to understand, nobody would have thought that we had a mind.
Every government, left or right, always engages in moral crusades.
What else are they supposed to do? Especially when they make war; any war has to be a moral crusade.
If I had to lay bets, my bet would be that everything is going to go to hell, but, you know, what else have we got except hope?
Truth is simply a compliment paid to sentences seen to be paying their way.
Truthfulness under oath is, by now, a matter of our civic religion, our relation to our fellow citizens rather than our relation to a nonhuman power.
There is nothing to be known about anything except an initially large, and forever expandable, web of relations to other things. Everything that can serve as a term of relation can be dissolved into another set of relations, and so on for ever. There are, so to speak, relations all the way down, all the way up, and all the way out in every direction: you never reach something which is not just one more nexus of relations.
I think you can have a Left that isn't culturally conservative talking about lunch-bucket issues.
Nowadays, to say that we are clever animals is not to say something philosophical and pessimistic but something political and hopeful - namely, if we can work together, we can make ourselves into whatever we are clever and courageous enough to imagine ourselves becoming. This is to set aside Kant's question "What is man?" and to substitute the question "What sort of world can we prepare for our great grandchildren?
My sense of the holy is bound up with the hope that some day my remote descendants will live in a global civilization in which love is pretty much the only law.
I think that a good Left is a party that always thinks about the future and doesn't care much about our past sins.
Academic disciplines are subject to being overtaken by attacks of "knowingness"- a state of mind and soul that prevents shudders of awe and makes one immune to enthusiasm.
Truth [is] what is better for us to believe.
The world is out there, but descriptions of the world are not.
[Walt] Whitman and [humanist educator John] Dewey tried to substitute hope for knowledge. They wanted to put shared utopian dreams - dreams of an ideally decent and civilized society - in the place of knowledge of God's Will, Moral Law, the Laws of History, or the Facts of Science.... As long as we have a functioning political left, we still have a chance to achieve our country, to make it the country of Whitman's and Dewey's dreams.